Blog: Gorillas Fight Back Against Loathsome Poachers

Finally, some good news from Africa. Gorillas are fighting back against poachers in the bloody ‘War Against Nature.’

Each year, in the mountains alone, despicable poachers set more than a thousand deadly traps to kill critically endangered gorillas.

In the mountains of Rwanda, three gorillas sprung into action after witnessing a snare brutally kill an elderly gorilla.

Those three gorillas, two 4-year-olds and a teenager, were later seen disabling a similar snare that had been set to kill them.

Gorillas are highly intelligent toolmakers. With good handgrips and nimble fingers, they teach themselves how to disarm these deadly traps.

Yet, for every gorilla that outwits a poacher, hundreds more across Africa each year die for bush-meat or body parts that are sold to heartless collectors supplying an insatiable demand from Asia.

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Gorillas, like chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans are members of the great apes. The great apes are humans’ closet relatives in the Animal Kingdom.

There are four subspecies: eastern lowland, mountain gorilla, western lowland and the Cross River gorilla. All but the western lowland population are critically endangered. Habitat destruction, poachers and climate disruption (especially in the mountains) are adversely impacting these remarkable herbivores.

Gorillas and humans share as much as 99 percent of the same DNA. It should come as no surprise that gorillas are excellent primitive engineers, learning to foil bloodthirsty poachers.

Did you know that each gorilla, just like each human, has its own unique fingerprint?

Please, learn more about the remaining critically endangered gorillas by supporting the life-saving conservation work of The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.

Earth Dr Reese Halter is a broadcaster and biologist. His forthcoming book is entitled “Shepherding the Sea: The Race to Save Our Oceans.”

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The Malibu Times is the first newspaper in Malibu, serving the community since 1946.

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