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Gorillas Fighting Back

February 13, 2012

Cross-river-gorilla.jpg

Here are a couple of interesting stories from the gorilla regions of central Africa: The Fossey Gorilla Fund, which operates a variety of active conservation efforts in Rwanda and DR Congo, reports that some wild gorillas in their study groups have been observed dismantling snares. These homemade traps, set by poachers to catch wild forest animals for meat or for the pet and zoo trades, kill significant numbers of gorillas each year. Meanwhile, in the border region of Cameroon and Nigeria, scientists are making progress in surveying the territorial connections of groups of the Cross River Gorilla, the rarest of all gorilla species. These gorillas, down to about 280 individuals in the wild, normally flee when encroached upon by humans. In past years, however, the gorillas have been observed throwing sticks and tufts of grass and mud at bushmeat hunters in an attempt to drive them off. While stories like these really don’t represent any real positive trend toward the attenuation of the grim dangers wild populations of these animals face, they are at least a spot of good news for them, and a moment of inspiration for the rest of us.

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