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Great Ape Trafficking and the Ebola Outbreak

August 11, 2014

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The excellent environmental news site Mongabay.com has a new journalism initiative, and it’s producing some fascinating work. A recent post examined the potential linkages between the trafficking of great apes (gorillas, chimpanzees, and bonobos) and the current outbreak of Ebola in West Africa. It’s an interesting view into the near-invisible underworld of environmental crime- export permits for bonobos, a species found only in DR Congo are found in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, and dead bonobos are found in Chinese and Armenian zoos. The Ebola Zaire virus that’s causing this growing epidemic is a pathogen native to DR Congo, and hasn’t been previously found in West Africa. Although highly speculative, writer Daniel Stiles uses information gathered by legendary wildlife crime investigator Karl Ammann to make a compelling case for the connection. It’s worth a read!

Ecology & AnimalsGlobal SolidarityHealthHistory

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