Found: massive number of endangered gorillas

Wildlife Conservation Society researchers have found approximately 125,000 endangered western lowland gorilla in a relatively small part of the Northern Republic of Congo. That's more than double the number of western lowland gorillas thought to exist in the world. From CNN:
 Cnn 2008 World Africa 08 05 Congo.Gorillas Art.Gorilla2New.Wcs Acting on a tip from hunters who indicated the presence of gorillas, (researcher Hugo) Rainey said that the researchers trekked on foot through mud for three days to the outskirts of Lac Tele, about 80 kilometers (50 miles) from the nearest road.

"When we went there, we found an astonishing amount of gorillas," said Rainey, speaking from the International Primatological Society Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland...

"This is the highest-known density of gorillas that's ever been found," Rainey said.

Western lowland gorillas are listed as critically endangered, the highest threat category for a species. Their populations are declining rapidly because of hunting and diseases like Ebola hemorrhagic fever...
"More than 100,000 rare gorillas found in Congo" (CNN)
"Wildlife Conservation Society Discovers "'Planet of the Apes'" (WFC)


  1. Geez, why didn’t they just include a map with the article so the poachers could find them a little easier. so much for conservation efforts. sheesh.

  2. Conservation efforts are going to have to include active policing… and a willingness to shoot poachers. Not necessarily with tranquilizing darts.

    Along with limiting the number of people into the area even on ecotourism trips, to prevent unnecessary disease exposure.

    It’s not going to be cheap, and it’s going to require that the rest of the world take up some of the cost.

    But it’s a heck of an opportunity to make up for past mistakes.

  3. That’s great news for the lowland gorillas. I wish someone would find a hidden population of the even-rarer mountain gorillas, which are presently down to about 720 individuals total in the entire world, mostly in the Virunga Mountains of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where they have to dodge militia, illegal charcoal traders and corrupt park officials:

  4. isn’t there some lunatic with an army threatening to kill the gorillas if he isn’t paid off? The poacher patrol doesn’t need machine guns, they need air support

  5. There are very very few things that should be kept “Top Secret” and never, ever, released to the public. This was one of them.

  6. Astonishing! I’ll be the first to sign up for an eco-tour of this area! I really hope someone starts one.


    I agree with Bitman. This should have stayed really really quiet. That ecotourism thing kills me though. Take a tour of virgin land, and leave behind oil slicks and diesel fumes. Don’t even get me started on that whale watching idiocy.

  7. #3: Which part of “a tip from hunters who indicated the presence of gorillas” didn’t you understand?

    The poachers knew the gorillas were there first.

  8. Bitman, I would tend to agree with you, my friend. My first thought when I saw this story was, “Poor gorillas.”

  9. This isn’t good news for the gorillas. *THEY* knew they were there. We just found them. This has a distant potential of not being bad news, but that’s about the most positive thing you can say for it.

    As to wanting the press to keep it silent. How western-centric can you get? The poachers probably have more access to local media than they do US-based english language blogs. It’s basically out of our (Americans) hands, as are many of the worlds problems.

  10. I say kill them all now. I saw Planet of the Apes, so I have a good reason for wanting to prevent a very nasty future! Seriously, it could happen. It’s like global warming: we need to act now to prevent a very bad future. Where killer apes have turned us into their slaves!

  11. What we have here is a total and complete lack of common sense…are these news people idiots???? what don’t they just call all the cold-hearted, cruel hunters at their homes and tell them where to find the gorillas…..”lackacommonsense” is a disease that is rampid in this world!!!!!!!

  12. At last! Humans discover the hidden Gorilla City in the Congo! Someone call the Flash–Gorilla Grodd is no doubt afoot!

  13. the best thing that could have happened to these gorillas is not being found by humans.


  14. @jazminecat: That’s Botswana’s policy on poaching, as I recall. They get the Defence Force Reserves to act as anti-poaching squads.

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