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Save The Gorillas, Save The Planet

Gorillas share more than 97% of their DNA with us human, so in addition to being the largest apes on the planet, they are also the closest primates to humans apart from chimps.

Unfortunately, these similarities are not reflected in practice. Human action has brought the gorilla populations down to a level that is difficult to sustain.

At present, two species of Gorilla exist in Arica, the western gorilla and eastern gorilla. The gorillas have seen their population shrinking for decades while humans, directly and indirectly, affect their populations.

It’s no coincidence that both species are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Unfortunately for these great apes, they are listed as critically endangered.

Poaching, fragmentation of ecosystems, destruction of habitats are the main causes of the decline of the gorilla populations to an unsustainable point.

To date, there are only 1,063 mountain gorillas in the wild. The ‘Grauer’ gorillas population alone has declined 77% since 1990, that’s a catastrophic drop.

Although poaching itself is currently the greatest threat to gorillas, the emergence of new diseases is taking its toll on the biggest apes on the planet.

In 2006, it was reported that 5,000 gorillas had died of Ebola in Congo and Gabon. The disease had been transmitted by contact with humans and had a mortality rate in gorillas of 90%.

We got some good news last week of the unexpected baby boom in the mountain gorillas of Uganda – Read about it here: bit.ly/Endangered-Gorillas

This has given us a little bit of hope, but it is not enough, we must continue to do everything in our power to save the gorillas and save the planet.

Written by Bari Holland

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