Smart Mountain Gorillas Have Learned How to Dismantle Poachers’ Traps

Researchers working in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park in 2012 witnessed just how intelligent mountain gorillas are when they observed them dismantling traps laid by poachers.

Only days after a young gorilla died after being caught in one of these snares, two four-year-old gorillas were filmed working together to disassemble similar traps.

“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center. “We are the largest database and observer of wild gorillas … so I would be very surprised if somebody else has seen that,” Vecellio added.

Rangers patrol the forest daily, removing snares in continued efforts to protect the critically endangered mountain gorillas. It was on a routine patrol in 2012 that tracker John Ndayambaje saw two juvenile gorillas: a male named Dukore and a female named Rwema, rapidly destroy two traps.

“Young Dukore and Rwema, as well as Tetero with a black back, ran to the trap and destroyed together the branches used to hold the rope,” said Vecillio. “They saw another trap nearby and, as quickly as before, they destroyed the second branch and pulled the rope to the ground. They were very confident. They saw what they had to do, they did it, and then they left.”

Snares are a common occurrence in the national park, home of the mountain gorillas, and although they are intended to catch antelope and smaller species, they can also ensnare the great apes. Adult gorillas can generally free themselves, but a younger animal may not be so lucky, as seen in the case of an infant named Ngwino who died from injuries after being caught in such a snare – she had dislocated her shoulder trying to escape and developed gangrene from open wounds where the rope cut into her leg.

The gorillas observed on this occasion are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla: Gorilla beringei beringei. There are only an estimated 680 mountain gorillas left in the wild, in two separate small populations, so every life is precious.


B.C. veterinarian wants 2,900-km wildlife death trap removed

Collapsed, 100-year-old Yukon Telegraph line believed to be killing moose across north

  •  Feb. 27, 2018 9:30 a.m.
  • A B.C. veterinarian hopes public anger over an illegal spate of wildlife snaring in the northwest will invigorate her mission to eradicate a much larger, potentially deadlier threat to wildlife.

“This is an underdog problem. It’s not a popular cause like animal abuse and neglect, but it’s a clear case of animal cruelty without anyone being deliberate or intentional. It’s just a consequence of what humans have left out in the wilderness.”

Dr. Veronica Gventsadze is speaking about the 100-year old Dominion Government Telegraph Service line, a network of five-millimetre iron cables snaking through 2,900 kilometres of wilderness from Ashcroft, B.C. to its termination point in Dawson City, Yukon. Known as the Yukon Telegraph, this logistical marvel of its time connected the gold fields of the north to southern Canada.

The line was abandoned in the 1940s and 50s as wireless technology advanced.

But the galvanized cable was of such high quality it still shows no sign of corrosion or breakage today. As the original poles collapse, and trees topple, the cable either sags to the forest floor or lies in tangles beneath moss and foliage, creating a perfect trap for moose and, further north, caribou.

“A bull moose crashes through the forest with his antlers, and that’s it. That’s how he gets around,” Gventsadze says. “There must be a tremendous amount of anguish not being able to free himself [from the wire], possibly lying there exhausted, hungry—he’s live prey for a bear. The wire is like nothing found in nature, so the moose not having a chance to escape or protect itself is a completely unnatural situation.”

The Squamish-based veterinarian began a grassroots campaign to see the line removed in June, 2016, during an otherwise-regular visit to her Rosswood cabin in the Nass Valley, near Terrace. Her husband was picking lobster mushrooms when he stumbled across a one-kilometre stretch of the fallen line. He counted the corpses of three moose in varying stages of decomposition, she says.

“This is grizzly bear country, so the moose will be dragged off pretty quickly. We don’t know how many have been there before.” Since her husband’s discovery Gventsadze has found other sites along the Stewart branch of the telegraph service.After being told last year there was very little Conservation Officers Service could do in the matter, Gventsadze contacted the Terrace office again last month upon reading news reports of a prolific and intentional snaring operation in the Kitimat River Valley, which the COS is still investigating.

Speaking to Black Press at the time, CO Sgt. Tracy Walbauer said evidence of dead moose, grizzly bears, wolves and coyotes had been found in the illegal snaring.

“Those animals observed in the snares endured a great deal of suffering before death,” Walbauer said.

READ MORE: Public’s help sought in cruel and prolific animal snaring

READ MORE: $1,000 offered for conviction of snaring culprit

Based on photographs, Gventsadze is certain the snare wire was cut from the telegraph line. She says she also once found a snare intentionally fashioned directly within a tangle of telegraph cable on the ground. Though of minor concern compared to the thousands of kilometres of unintended hazard to wildlife, the snaring connection she says only deepens the telegraph’s deadly post-use legacy.

While a remediation project of this magnitude does not fit within the budget and mandate of the COS, CO Zane Testawich told the Terrace Standard he hopes to offer some community-level support in the spring, possibly by organizing a cleanup of the Rosswood site identified by Gventsadze’s husband.

In the meantime, neither provincial or federal departments have returned Gventsadze’s calls of who is responsible for remediation.

Andrew Gage, staff counsel with West Coast Environmental Law, says finding a legal avenue to force remediation will be difficult on a project initiated by the fledgling Dominion Government in 1899. Political pressure may be the only way forward, he says.

“These sites do get cleaned up where there’s particular health concerns and public outcry over them, but there’s a lot that don’t get cleared up without that pressure.”

Gventsadze admits the costs of a remediation project on this scale would be large, but hopes elected officials will see it as an employment and skills-training investment for northern communities.

This was the case in Northwest Territories, where in 2015 a program partially sponsored by the federal government led to the removal of 116 kilometres of telephone wire from a Second World War pipeline project in the Mackenzie Mountains, along what’s now the Canol Trail. The program was renewed the next year, and a further 126 km of wire was removed, along with 27 racks of caribou antlers tangled within it, according to Northern News Services. The project was completed in January this year, seeing 80 tonnes of wire remediated from more than 350 kilometres of terrain. Indigenous and Northern Affairs said a key element of the program was to provide local workers with training in project management, field operations and occupational health and safety.

In Yukon Territory, the Carcross Tagish First Nation spearheaded the Southern Lakes Wire Recovery Project in 2015. In this case, the wire belonged to the same Yukon Telegraph line at the centre of Gventsadze’s concern.“It is still a very unrecognized problem,” she says. “But once people start talking about it, others will probably come out of the woodwork who have been making local efforts to remove these lines themselves.

“Just because we can’t witness these moose suffering and dying, it doesn’t make their deaths any less acceptable.”

Dr. Gventsadze has set up a petition for the cleanup of the Yukon Telegraph line at

Los Angeles Bans Animal Traps that Grip or Snare

In a victory for animal rights, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to ban traps that grip or snare foxes, coyotes, and other such animals in the city, labeling such traps as inhumane.


The new rule disallows commercial trappers from using any traps that grip or snare the animals in any way. However, such traps can still be used for mice, rats, and other small rodents.


Cage traps that utilize a locking door can still be used by commercial trappers, which will allow many to stay in business.


The city’s Department of Animal Services will also create measures that ensure locking door traps are not used inhumanely, in instances such as keeping a locked animal caged for hours in summer heat.


Wildlife protection groups applaud the decision, saying that the banning of such traps will prevent suffering and it will keep other animals safe.


The impetus behind banning such traps was the fact gripping or snaring devices often do not actually kill the animal, but leave it to suffer.


In addition to eliminating suffering, banning such traps will ensure that pets are not accidentally injured or killed by snare or grip traps.


Trapping groups in Los Angeles did not offer any public comment on the ban, however, the president of a local wildlife management service told city council earlier in the year that revolving door traps are not an efficient way to catch coyotes.


Animal rights group around the country, including PETA, offered support for the ban, which may prompt other cities in the United States to propose such bans in their respected councils.




1.        Bill S548   Senator Skelos  518 455-2800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 518 455-2800 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting – Ask him to Defeat
2.       Senator Klein    518 455-2800 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 518 455-2800 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Ask him to Defeat  
b.   Speaker Sheldon Silver   518.455.3791 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 518.455.3791 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting   Ask him to please  DEFEAT this bill A9137.
c.    Assembly Member Robert Sweeney   Chair of the Environmental Conservation Committee Assembly Member Robert Sweeney  518.455.5787 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting 518.455.5787 FREE  end_of_the_skype_highlighting Ask him to DEFEAT  bill  A9137.
Memorandum of Opposition to: A9137
Dear Assembly member…..
Bill A9137 allows the use of snares in trapping. An animal caught in such a device would struggle to escape by instinctively lunging forward, thus tightening the snare and causing its suffocation or loss of consciousness.  If the animal recovers from a loss of consciousness, it would repeat the process again and again. If used underwater to trap beavers it would bring about a slow agonizing death by drowning.
Either conscious or unconscious, the animal would be unable to fight-off or escape  predators.
It is an extremely cruel way to remove animals from an area. The device is not selective as to species, and many unintended species- including threatened species — as well as domestic animals, are subject to torturous destruction by those devices.
Hunters frequently use snares of this type of live-capture snares to train their dogs on live animals:
A “cable restraint” is put to use to train these dogs. Often fox are used to train the young dogs, who then graduate to coyotes.
Coyote hunters use snared coyotes to train their hunting dogs while they are caught in the snare and struggling. The more the coyote struggles, the tighter the snare gets
We believe we speak on behalf of New Yorkers who feel strongly about the humane treatment of all animals and oppose the legalization of these instruments of wildlife torture.

Animal traps that grip or snare are banned in L.A. as ‘inhumane’

Jim Robertson-wolf-copyright

The Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously Wednesday to ban traps that snare or grip coyotes, bears, foxes and other animals in the city, deeming such traps inhumane.

Under the new rules, commercial trappers cannot use traps that grip or snare any part of the animal, with the exception of traps set for rats, mice and other small rodents. Angelenos are banned from using any trap “that maims or causes the inhumane death or suffering of any animal,” the rules state.

Commercial trappers can still do business using other kinds of traps, which can include cage traps that involve a locking door.

However, the Department of Animal Services will also put forward regulations to ensure that such traps are not used inhumanely — for instance, by leaving an animal caged for a long time in the summer heat.

All traps “can be inhumane through negligent care or use, but snares, bodycrushing and body-gripping traps are inherently inhumane,” a council committee focused on animal welfare wrote in a report. Besides banning snare traps, “the Department is requesting the authority to establish reasonable rules and regulations regarding the use of humane traps and the treatment of the trapped animals.”

Wildlife protection groups say banning snare traps will prevent needless suffering and keep other animals safe. Trapping sounds “safe” to people, but there’s no guarantee that the targeted animal is the one trapped and killed, said Randi Feilich, the Southern California representative for Project Coyote. Pets can also fall victim to the snares, she added.

“If you’ve ever seen an animal trapped in one of these traps, you would never, ever allow them to be used,” said Skip Haynes of the wildlife protection group Citizens for Los Angeles Wildlife.

Animal trapping groups did not speak at the Wednesday meeting, but Dan Fox, president of Animal Pest Management Services Inc., argued in an earlier letter to the council that cage traps were not effective in catching coyotes and that snare traps could be a humane option if used correctly. Experienced trappers consider whether other animals are in the area before setting traps, he wrote.

The new rules “will remove any efficient methods of trapping predator animals, and increase costs for residents without addressing the true issue” — people ignoring the existing rules, Fox wrote.

The ban was first proposed by Councilman Mitch O’Farrell and seconded by Councilmen Paul Koretz and Tom LaBonge.

“Mahatma Gandhi once said … a society can be judged by the way it treats its animals,” O’Farrell said before the Wednesday vote. “Colleagues, banning these cruel and sadistic torture devices to deal with our wildlife is the way to go.”,0,5874191.story#ixzz2yWoFGogR

Jessica Lange to Governon: Halt wolf hunting in Minnesota

by Paul Walsh  September 26, 2013

The actress urges the governor to suspend the next wolf hunting season in the state; he said he can’t.

Jessica Lange

Hollywood actress and “Minnesota daughter” Jessica Lange is urging Gov. Mark Dayton to suspend the next wolf hunting season in Minnesota.

Lange cites the sharp drop in the state’s wolf population following the first of the newly reinstituted hunts last year and adds that hunters do this for no more than sport, fun or trophies.

“Nearly all Minnesotans believe the wolf is an asset that should be protected for future generations,” wrote Lange, who grew up in Cloquet, lived for a time in Stillwater and now counts a place in the woods near where she was raised as one of her homes.

In the letter released Wednesday by the Twin Cities-based advocacy group Howling for Wolves, Lange said the state’s reauthorization to resume the hunting of wolves was rushed by the Legislature and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) “to cater to particular groups, who for years had been clamoring for the chance to kill wolves.”

Dayton responded in a written statement, pointing out that he does not have the power to halt the hunt.

“Since Ms. Lange no longer lives in Minnesota, it is understandable that she is not familiar with all of the considerations in the Legislature’s decision to establish a wolf hunting season in Minnesota,” the statement began. “That decision was written into law; thus only the Legislature can change its terms.”

Maureen Hackett, founder and president of Howling for Wolves, said that Lange “contacted us and asked what she could do … to be of help to the wolf.”

Hackett said having Lange’s support for her group’s effort to halt the hunt is beneficial because “she’s a Minnesota daughter, so to speak … and lives in wolf country.”

The number of wolves that hunters can kill in Minnesota this fall will be slashed nearly in half, from 413 a year ago to 220. Also, only 3,300 hunters and trappers will be given permits this year to kill wolves, down from 6,000. The early season runs from Nov. 9 to Nov. 24.

The licensing reductions follow a survey last winter that estimated the state’s wolf population at 2,211 — a 24 percent decline from 2008, but a figure that didn’t include this year’s surviving pups.

In that first season since wolf hunting resumed in Minnesota, Lange contended that more than half of the wolves killed were less than 2 years old and almost a third were less than a year old.

“They were not problem wolves,” her letter said. “They were not in conflicts with people, livestock, or domestic animals. They were just wolves living wild and free in our North Woods.”

The state’s recent announcement of a nearly 25 percent drop in Minnesota’s wolf population “should compel action,” she said. “We haven’t had this few wolves in our state since 1988.”

Lange, whose Minnesota property is within one of the wolf hunting zones, also went after the “cruel methods” used to hunt and trap wolves, referring to “metal leg-hold traps that crush limbs, wire choke snares that cause painful brain bleeding, and bait like food and the calls of wolf pups in distress that lure adult protectors to their death.”

How Low Will You Go, Montana?

Why is it that snares are acceptable for wolves, but when an eagle  dies in one the USFWS offers a $2,500.00 reward?


From Defenders of Wildlife:  Wolf-haters in Montana have introduced a bill to legalize a long list of deplorable acts.

This bill, SB 397 would:
•Allow wolves to be choked to death in neck snares, killed in traps and hunted for 10 months of the year, including during breeding, pregnancy, denning and pup-rearing seasons;
•Make it legal to lure wolves into traps using dead wolves – including dead pack and family members; and
•Allow an unlimited amount of wolves to be killed in a given season.
If this bill passes, it will be legal in Montana to use snares to choke a wolf to death and then leave its body out as bait to try to kill more wolves in its pack.

You have to ask — Who does that?

Only the Beginning

The Montana assault on wolves is not an isolated incident. It is only one facet of a well-funded, highly-coordinated and unrelenting effort by wolf-haters to significantly reduce the number of wolves and strip federal protection from most of them in the lower 48 states.

Just last week, anti-wolf lobbyists in Washington DC secured 72 Congressional signatures on a letter to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Director Dan Ashe demanding that wolves in the Lower 48 be completely delisted under the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

It was a chilling show of force by the anti-wolf lobby, and a reminder of what we are up against. Montana is a textbook case of what can happen when wolf management is turned over to a state that is politically dominated by anti-wolf interests.

Thanks to you and thousands of other wildlife lovers, the “kill wolves lobby” can be stopped, but make no mistake – we are in the fight of our lives for America’s wolves.

Our team is working long hours in Montana, across the Northern Rockies and here in Washington, D.C. to:
•Organize and mobilize local activists to fight appalling state measures like SB 397;
•Provide expert testimony at legislative hearings – these measures are not only reprehensible, they are based on politics, not science;
•Garner support for wolves on Capitol Hill. More than 50 members of Congress signed a letter demanding continued federal protection for wolves; and
•Mobilize online support from hundreds of thousands of people like you. Those letters, calls and emails do make a difference!

I won’t lie. We’re up against formidable foes who will stop at nothing to open America’s wolves up to unconscionable assault.

USFWS Offers $2500. in AK Eagle Snaring Case

Snaring claims 2 more innocent victims! From the USFWS:

March 26, 2013

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement is
investigating the death of two golden eagles near Chickaloon, Alaska. A
reward of up to $2,500 is being offered for information leading to a
conviction of the person or persons responsible for killing the eagles.

The eagles were discovered in the Anthracite Ridge area northwest of the
Chickaloon-Knik-Nelchina Trail along Purinton Creek. The eagles were found
lying dead on top of a bait pile of meat that was surrounded by snares used
by trappers. Evidence at the scene suggests the eagles were caught and
killed in the snares while trying to get at the meat in the bait pile. One
of the golden eagles was an adult female and the other was an immature male.

Golden eagles are the largest raptor in North America and range from Mexico
to Alaska. Golden eagles may live up to 30 years in the wild and sometimes
mate for life. Golden eagles are mainly found in mountainous regions and
eat small mammals, birds, fish, and carrion.

Golden eagles are protected by the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act and
the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, both federal wildlife statutes. Violations
of these statutes carry maximum criminal penalties of up to $100,000 and/or
one year in federal prison.

Anyone with information concerning these eagles is asked to call the U.S.
Fish and Wildlife Service, Office of Law Enforcement in Anchorage at (907)


Montana: Love the Place, Hate the Politicians

In a variation of the old adage, “Love the country, hate the people,” my new motto for my former and possibly future home state is, “Love the place, hate the politicians—especially the wildlife policy makers.

Though I have a lot of like-minded friends back there, they are mostly “new-comers” from other states who have moved there because of their love for the land. They don’t share the self-centered patrician attitude of many of the Montana “natives,” so they tend to appreciate the wildlife more.

But the Montana state legislators think they know who their constituents are—and they’re not the wolves or us wolf advocates. In their zeal to fast-track a proposal to expand their already out-of-control wolf hunt, the Montana State Senate on Thursday suspended its rules so it could take initial and final votes on the same day on a measure that already had overwhelmingly cleared the House. The Senate backed it 45-4, and now the unbelievable piece of anti-wolf legislation will soon be sent to the governor’s desk for his signature. (It must be quite a challenge for the evil, pointy-tailed office-bearers to hold a pen with those cloven hooves of theirs).

The following is an AP article entitled, “Legislature gives quick OK to expanded Montana wolf hunt” (my parenthetical asides are added when necessary or appropriate):

House Bill 73 lets the Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks increase the number of wolves one hunter can take, allows for electronic calls, and removes a requirement to wear hunter orange outside general deer and elk season. (The one bright side: more hunting accidents.)

The measure also prohibits the state wildlife agency from banning wolf hunts in areas around national parks. (Parks like Yellowstone, where wolves are used to seeing appreciative, peaceful people and are therefore deceitfully and easily killed by the malicious ones waiting just outside the park boundaries). Its swift passage would allow the changes to take effect during the hunting season that’s currently under way…

The department last month abandoned efforts to shut down gray wolf hunting and trapping in an area north of Yellowstone National Park, a move originally promoted by concerns that too many wolves wandering out of the park were dying. (“Dying”… Is that what the AP thinks happened to them? Or, are they just being pleasant? What they meant was, “…too many wolves wandering out of the park and being stuck in a trap and/or shot to death by bloodthirsty wolf-haters!”)

Lawmakers wanted to make sure such a regional closure doesn’t come up again.

Gov. Steve Bullock on Thursday indicated support for the legislation, noting it had been backed by Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. (Not surprising that MFWP gave it their cloven-hooved stamp of approval).

Fish, Wildlife and Parks said it already has prepared rule changes that will allow the legislation to immediately impact what remains of the wolf hunting season ending Feb. 28.

Hunters and trappers so far this season have killed fewer than 200 wolves. Wildlife officials are hoping to reduce the animals’ population from an estimated 650 wolves to around 450. The goal is to reduce wolf attacks on (non-native) livestock and help some elk herds that have (allegedly) been in decline due to wolf attacks (read: natural predation).

Wildlife advocates have argued that the state is being too aggressive (read: violent, hostile, destructive, belligerent, antagonistic, bellicose) against a species only recently restored to the Northern Rockies after it was widely exterminated last century.

But no one spoke against the expanded wolf hunt on the Senate floor.

“These creatures are hard to hunt, and we need to allow our wolf hunters the best chance of getting into them while the season is still ongoing,” said Sen. Larry Jent, D-Bozeman (“getting into them”—how sick is that kind of talk?)

Sen. Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville, argued it doesn’t go far enough to limit wolf numbers. He said the FWP is going to have to start allowing snare trapping of the wolves, a controversial practice the wildlife commission banned with its trapping regulations. (Even the MFWP isn’t willing to descend into that level of hell.)

“While this bill will do some things, it is not the big answer,” Thomas said. “If you really want to get after this, you have to authorize snaring.”

So sayeth the elected official from the great state of Montana. No, I wouldn’t feel any more fairly represented there now than the wolves are.

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

Text and Wildlife Photography ©Jim Robertson, 2013. All Rights Reserved

More on Snaring–Eagles killed in Snare in Montana

Research eagle killed in Mont.

by Mike Koshmrl, Jackson Hole News and Guide

Date: February 1, 2013

A Jackson Hole biologist’s research took a hit this past week, when one of six golden eagles he tracks became tangled in a Montana snare and died. The adult female, GPS-tracked by Craighead Beringia South, was one of three Montana eagles recently caught in snares, said Becky Kean, director of the Montana Raptor Conservation Center. Two of the three, including Beringia South’s research subject, nicknamed “Elaine,” were killed. Beringia South, based in Kelly, had been following Elaine’s migrations with a GPS backpack since 2010, said biologist Bryan Bedrosian. The study, which tracked six goldens, was conducted in tandem with the Raptor View Research Center, out of Missoula, Mont. “It’s just unfortunate to lose a study bird that we’ve been tracking so long,” Bedrosian said. “There are a lot of longer-term questions she would have helped answer.” It’s unlikely that Elaine would have been caught in a snare, Bedrosian said, unless it was set over an animal carcass or some type of meat. That is illegal in Montana. “No trap or snare may be set within 30 feet of an exposed carcass or bait which is visible from above,” the state’s furbearer regulations read. Snares and foothold traps are used to catch a wide array of mammals, but birds of prey, pets and other animals can be caught by accident. Beringia South’s study was set up to help biologists better understand golden eagle migration corridors. Between 1991 and 2010, an Audubon Society research project found that the migratory golden eagle population de-clined by 40 to 50 percent. Reasons for the decline, Bedrosian said, include collisions with wind turbines and electrical lines, incidental trapping, energy development and overall habitat loss. “There’s a whole host of reasons, but I wouldn’t say there’s one smoking gun,” he said. The Teton Raptor Center has tried to rehabilitate just one raptor injured in a snare in recent years, said Meghan Warren, the center’s program associate. The raptor center’s snared bird, also a golden eagle, became entangled near Pinedale about a year ago. He died a week later after developing a fungal infection of the lungs. “It’s such a tragedy,” Warren said of the Beringia South golden eagle. “It’s terrible that another animal had to suffer, and it was obviously not the intended animal for trapping.” Kean, from the Montana Raptor Conservation Center, said the recent rash of snared eagles was very out of the ordinary. “It was kind of overwhelming — we had three in two days,” she said. “These are the first [birds] I’ve seen killed in snare traps and I’ve been here full-time for 6 years.” About three raptors a year are brought to the Montana rehabilitation center as a result of more common leghold traps, Kean said. The one snared golden that did survive underwent successful surgery Wed-nesday, Kean said. “She’s in the other room here eating right now,” she said over the phone from Montana. “She’s doing pretty good so far, but it’s just the start of the healing process,” Kean added.