October 10, 2008

Save the mountain gorilla

Posted in Environment tagged , , , , at 11:04 pm by poison ivyyy

July 22, 2007 marked the day four members of the Rugendo family were slaughtered to death, to be more specific they were brutally executed by armed assassins and given no chance to defend their lives.

A few days after the incident it emerged that another unknown female of the family was found dead in connection with the killings and that her missing infant is also believed to be dead.

This reads like an extract of a story that would usually appear in a local/national news paper, but instead this story made it into the evening edition of almost every news station in the world.

Why?

Because the victims are a rare species of gorillas that were placed on the List of World Heritage in Danger in 1994.

Endangered species

The majestic silver-backs were held in the Virunga National Park in Congo, home to an estimated 380 of the remaining 700 gorillas in the world.

The killings of the gorillas are just the peak of a string of slayings that occurred during the past year, as seven gorillas had already been killed in the park, and are regarded by many conservations experts as the worst incident in the past 30 years.

Russell Mittermeier, chairman of the Primate Specialist Group of the World Conservation Union’s (IUCN) Species Survival Commission told the Environment News Service online: “The loss of six of the group’s 12 members means it is likely to disintegrate as a social group.”

He continued: “If we can’t stop these attacks, our closest living relatives will disappear from the planet.”

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The beringei beringei (mountain) gorilla cannot survive in captivity, yet there are no gorillas to be found in ‘strict’ wildness.

The world’s remaining mountain gorillas live within four national parks, split in two regions that are 45 kilometres apart.

One half of gorillas are situated and inhabit the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Did you know?

Humans and gorillas share 97-98% genetically identical and they are considered to be highly intelligent.

Gorillas spend most their day eating consuming mostly herbs, stems and roots but they hardly drink any water.

The gorillas use up to 25 different sounds, grunts and barks to communicate with each other.

(Facts taken from wikipedia)

Making a difference

Fauna and Flora International, the UNESCO and the IUCN are just a few major organisations that have wide spreading programmes across the globe to ensure the beringei beringei gorilla has a future.

If you want to adopt a mountain gorilla or just help keep them alive there are a lot of organisations like the ‘Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’ that would appreciate your effort, so please get active.