Sunday, March 6, 2011

The Poaching of Gorillas

When I think about poaching my first thoughts aren't of gorillas being poached.This poaching isn't hearn of nearly as much as tiger, rhino, and elephant poaching. Before this article the only facts i know about gorillas were from disney's Tarzan.I hope you enjoy this exerpt from This article can help us to learn more about gorillas so we have more knowledge to help them.This also shows why they are currently poached.

Poaching is the illegal killing of an animal. Gorillas are poached for three main reasons: meat, capture for collections, and trophies. Partially due to the false negative image that gorilla stereotyping has projected, trophies from their hands, feet, skulls, and skins have been sought after. The collection of gorillas, especially infants, has led to numerous fatalities of adult males and females trying to protect their young. Many animals, including gorillas, are accidentally caught in snares not intended for them, often times resulting in death or serious injury. The most significant and urgent threat to African wildlife today is the commercial bushmeat trade (see below).
Forested areas in Africa are often referred to as 'the bush'. Meat derived from wildlife living in these areas is called bushmeat. Many bushmeat animals are either threatened or endangered, like the elephant, gorilla, and chimpanzee. It is estimated that over one million metric tons are taken from the Congo basin each year. Bushmeat has unfortunately become a profitable business for individuals without alternative income options, earning them about $300-$1,000 per year which is higher than the average regional household income. The bushmeat trade generates about $50 million annually. The vast majority of bushmeat consumers are low income families who cannot afford more costly meat alternatives such as pork and chicken. However, logging company employees and illegal imports to countries such as the United States and Britain are financially contributing to the growing crisis. It is estimated that as much as 10 tons of African bushmeat may be reaching London on a daily basis, according to a British documentary. The logging industry has accelerated the bushmeat trade through direct bushmeat consumption and by creating access to the forests through the construction of roads, thus increasing poaching opportunities. All viable African ape populations may become extinct within the next 5 to 15 years due to the bushmeat trade.