back to success stories

Dr. Eddy Kambale Syaluha

2016 Scholarship Recipient:

Master of Science in Wildlife Health Management


Born March 24, 1972, the second son in a family of 6 children, 5 boys and one girl in Lubero, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Has lived in in Goma for 13 years, a volcanic region, with active volcanoes Nyiragongo et Nyamulagira, near the Virunga Massif, home to the rare Mountain Gorilla; North Kivu Province, the eastern part of DRC, in Central Africa.

Married to the lovely Guilaine with whom they have now 3 boys, Williams, Luc and Gift, respectively 8, 6 and 3 years old.


1992 Veterinary Science Degree, Technical Institute of Agriculture and Veterinary Science in Butembo, DRC

2002 Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine, Catholic University of Graben, Butembo, DRC

Professional Experience

2011 to present: Head Veterinarian for DRC, Gorilla Doctors/ Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

2004 to 2011: Field Veterinarian, Gorilla Doctors/ Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo

2002-2004: Secondary School Teacher, Technical Institute of Agriculture and Veterinary Science in Butembo, DRC



Dr. Eddy's thoughts on his MSc (Wildlife Medicine) training and work...

"My best part of my work was to see how to raise a baby gorilla like a substitute mother, from a very bad health condition and be able to contribute save his life. This was building up my love to these amazing creature and when I got to the forest for my first time seeing the gorillas in wild, I was really very happy and very excited to see how they live in wild and from there I realized that the captivity situation was a true jail and could not feel well when having new poached gorilla.

I was very excited to hear about the MSc program in wildlife medicine and I found my dream accomplished because since 2006, I started burning in my heart to have more knowledge in wildlife management. I am very proud being part of the great study team among my work mate, with which we are not only learning sciences (Ecology, diseases, epidemiology,..) but also getting some life experience, while interacting with teachers and students. The time has been challenging while combining studies, work and family; and it was very hard at the beginning but now we are adjusting and getting use to the course schedule while we are sometimes travelling for forest work to save gorilla's life.

Ended, I am also proud of our Gorilla Doctors leaders and colleagues, for giving us this great opportunity of capacity building and colleagues who are making amazing sacrifices working hard while we are out for the MSc.

With your great support from Docs4GreatApes, I believe that I will improve my capacity and skills and so I can contribute significantly to the achievement of mission statement of Gorilla Doctors project through, "ONE HEALTH program".

For my country, after getting new skills, I will contribute to promote the conservation of free-ranging and captive wildlife for the future generations, increase the economy of my country through health education based on ONE HEALTH Topics and increase eco-tourism income with healthy people living in a healthy environment."



"Being a veterinarian is an amazing gift in my life. I always feel very excited and more than happy any time I work with animals, mostly with great apes—my close cousins—and help them have a better and longer life by treating their illnesses. This is my best way of serving them; my respect for all kinds of life has increased tremendously—I feel I am among the happier boys on this earth.

Since I joined Gorilla Doctors in 2004, I was burning to continue with education. I was lucky to get the scholarship opportunity from Docs4GreatApes to be enrolled in the MSc program of Wildlife Health and Management at Makerere University 2016-2017. Very few veterinarians in my country, The Democratic Republic of Congo, are able to enroll in this unique capacity building program. My network of skilled and experienced veterinarians in wildlife medicine and management has grown and from the new scientific experience I gained, I am acting more efficiently in my role as the Head Veterinarian for Gorilla Doctors in DR Congo. I am much more able to contribute significantly to conserve wild eastern gorillas through life-saving veterinary medicine and a One Health approach. I am playing an instrumental role in the promotion and success of gorilla ecotourism by keeping gorillas healthy. This industry brings income and much needed jobs to a part of my country historically stricken with poverty and political unrest.

The wildlife medicine MSc program was not only strengthening my scientific knowledge but also my small family—my wife and kids were all happy hearing about my graduation. My kids were asking me very often saying, “Daddy are you sure you will succeed?” and this was for me a great motivation for my success.

Using my new scientific experience in wildlife health and management, I am striving to improve veterinary instruction in my country with young Congolese veterinary students and interns interested in conservation medicine. I am working hard to make a strong science- based future generation of veterinarians working with wildlife. I am convinced and strongly recommend that this important capacity building program should continue to help many young veterinarians in wildlife medicine and management. My country is in the heart of Africa, second largest forest after the Amazon and home of three of the great ape species (gorillas and chimpanzees as well as bonobos) and refuge of a very great and rare biodiversity."

Docs4GreatApes is committed to improving the health of great ape populations, the communities that surround them, and the ecosystem we share, through education.

You can help.