Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mountain Gorillas: Congolese rebels kill silverback gorilla

Frustratingly sad news from the Congo this week. Reuters reports that rebels loyal to renegade Congolese general Laurent Nkunda have shot a young silverback Mountain Gorilla. They then brutally butchered it for "bush meat".
Just 700 mountain gorillas survive, more than half of them in Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The east of the country bore the brunt of a 1998-2003 war and humanitarian disaster that has killed some 4 million people.

"In a population this small, every individual counts -- and the loss of a trusting young silverback is tragic on many levels," Ian Redmond, chief consultant for the United Nations Great Apes Survival Project (GRASP), said in a statement.
Full story at Reuters AlertNet.

Here's the opening paragraph from the Wikipedia article on the disturbing trade in "bush meat".
Bushmeat (calque from the French viande de brousse) is the term commonly used for meat of terrestrial wild animals, killed for subsistence or commercial purposes throughout the humid tropics of the Americas, Asia and Africa. However, originally the term was only used to describe the hunting of wild animals in West and Central Africa.


Anonymous said...

How depressing...though unfortunately, it's not surprising to see a flagrant disregard for other creatures. Perhaps it's a Maslow's heirarchy of needs thing; impossible to consider anyone or anything else until one's own basic survival needs are met.

Kayleigh said...

my goodness. people are idiots.

Heidi on Vashon said...

Well, Darn! I thought for a second you were talking about the president, bounty hunted in the jungle thickets of Africa.

Seriously, I just watched a fascinating doc on Natl Geo TV and this is just a way of life to some--no matter how rare, it's just bushmeat to them.

. said...

You can maybe understand it that they've killed it for meat, but it's still tragic to further deplete an endangered species