Friday, August 10, 2007

Mountain Gorilla Murders: Updates

There has been a large amount of media coverage in recent weeks over the horrific execution style killings of Mountain Gorillas in the DR Congo. At least seven dead since the beginning of 2007, possibly as many as nine.

Here's NBC affiliate on how the murders are tainting the 40th anniversary of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Clare Richardson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Fossey Fund, is horrified.

"Shoot them with a gun?" exclaimed Richardson. "I mean that it's just -- it's just horrifying. Because they have no defense against that -- I mean, they probably stood up and looked at them before they shot them."
Investigators in Congo are looking for those responsible for the killings, and they have been told by the Fossey Fund, help is on the way.
The Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project based out of Maryland Zoo, Baltimore is also ramping up its efforts to assist. ABC2 reports...
Dr. Mike Cranfield heads up the project, working between Baltimore and Africa.

Dr. Cranfield and a team of veterinarians are doing everything possible to keep these endangered animals alive.

“These animals are closely related to us 98 percent and I feel if we can’t save the animals we have that close attachment with, then I think it’s bad for the lesser animals that not enough attention is paid too,” says Dr. Mike Cranfield with the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore.
Finally, the ENN site reported last week that two men involved in the killings HAD been identified, and one had been arrested.
Wildlife authorities and conservation partners have held a series of emergency meetings to address last week's shooting of four endangered mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Two suspects have been identified as persons involved in the killing of the four gorillas, all members of the Rugendo group. The men were seen early on July 23rd at the scene where the gorillas were shot dead. One of the men has been arrested and is cooperating with the investigation, but the second man is still at large.

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