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Home » Information » Why Are Mountain Gorillas Poached? -Uganda Safari News

Why Are Mountain Gorillas Poached? -Uganda Safari News

The endangered mountain gorilla that were almost extinct in the 19th century can be trekked in Uganda, Rwanda and Congo. On your safari Uganda, you can trek gorillas only in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park while tourists on Rwanda gorilla trekking safaris can track these gorillas only in the Volcanoes national park in Rwanda. Visitors interested in Congo gorilla tours can go for a Congo gorilla trekking safari in Virunga National Park Congo.

Reasons why Mountain gorillas are poached!

Bush meat

One of the reasons why mountain gorillas are poached by people is for bush meat. Some rich people enjoy gorilla meat and think its prestigious consuming it.

The need for quick money has caused some people to join the group poaching mountain gorillas so they gain income by selling them.

Medicinal purposes

In most cases mountain gorillas are being poached because of the belief of local traditional healers who assume that the mountain gorilla body parts can be used for magic and charm, their belief has caused to them to continuously poach the great apes.

Pet trade

One of the main reason gorillas are poached is for selling them abroad for to rich people who own illegal private animals’ sanctuaries. The locals tend to get a lot of money through selling of mountain gorillas abroad.

Lack of awareness

Sometimes mountain gorillas are poached because there is insufficiency of regional awareness about the importance of gorillas, the un followed rules and regulations of gorillas has also led to reckless poaching of mountain gorillas.

Accidental poaching

Sometimes gorillas fall in traps being set for other ungulates like antelopes thus leads to bad injuries that can lead to their death later on.

The other reasons why gorillas might become extinct apart from poaching is the political unrest in some countries like Congo, diseases this is because gorillas are vulnerable to human diseases like whooping cough and many others.

The other reason gorillas might become economy apart from poaching is habitat loss, the places where mountain gorillas live have been encroached by humans for Agriculture and settlement purposes this makes gorillas move to higher elevations that can be harsh to their health.

Uganda is the only place in the world where tourists can encounter the gorilla’s habituation experience which involves joining researchers on gorilla habituation experience this takes 4 hours unlike gorilla trekking which takes only 1 hours. The maximum number for this activity is only 4 people.

How you can help conserve gorillas

Trek to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Congo, or Uganda.

Without gorilla tourism, mountain gorillas might have gone extinct. The regions where mountain gorillas live are home to the densest human populations in Africa.

Most of the people living in these areas are farmers, so land is critical to their livelihoods. However, the governments of Rwanda, Uganda, and DR Congo have kept the gorilla’s volcano habitat off-limits to agriculture in order to protect the gorillas, largely because the revenue gained through tourism outweighs the value of using the park land for other purposes.

The cost of gorilla trekking in Uganda is USD 600, in Congo USD 400 and USD 1500 in Rwanda.

Do not trek to see gorillas if you are sick.

Due to the genetic similarity between humans and mountain gorillas, gorillas are susceptible to many of the same infectious diseases that affect people.

Mountain gorillas are also immunologically naïve to some diseases, meaning they are particularly susceptible to certain human diseases because of their historic isolation from people. Research conducted by the Gorilla Doctors and other scientists has proven that mountain gorillas have died as a result of infections that originated in people.

Infectious disease, after trauma, is the leading cause of death in mountain gorillas. The most common infection is respiratory disease, which can range from mild colds to severe pneumonia.

To protect gorillas from such infections, the national park authorities ask that anyone feeling sick or running a fever to not trek gorillas.

Stay at least 7 meters away from the gorillas.

In order to reduce the risk of disease transmission and to avoid changing or disturbing the gorillas’ natural behavior, the Gorilla Doctors have worked with national park authorities to establish the rule of staying 7 meters (21 feet) or more from the gorillas at all times.

The gorillas themselves, especially youngsters, don’t know the rules and may approach humans, but tourists should make the effort to back away and avoid touching the animal if possible.

The 7-meter rule should be observed at all times, even when gorillas leave the national park and venture on to property owned by tourist lodges and camps.

Donate to conservation organizations working to protect mountain gorillas.

One of the most effective ways to help mountain gorillas is to donate money to organizations working on the ground to conserve the species.

Numerous organizations including MGVP have spent decades finding effective methods for protecting mountain gorillas, and most rely on grants and donations to fund their work.

Spread the word about mountain gorilla conservation.

You can make a difference for the gorillas by telling their friends, family, and colleagues about the mountain gorillas and the efforts being made to save them.

Remember that even though mountain gorillas are critically endangered, their story is a positive one! Mountain gorillas are the only subspecies of non-human great ape growing in number.

Fewer than 250 animals were counted in the mid-80s when Dian Fossey was researching the gorillas but today the population numbers nearly 800 animals. This species has a fighting chance for survival if we continue to work to address conservation challenges.

Besides Uganda Rwanda gorilla safaris, you can also do a short Uganda wildlife safari/ short Uganda wildlife safaris, Rwanda wildlife safari, Rwanda gorilla safari, Congo gorilla safari, a Tanzania wildlife safari, a Kenya wildlife safari and many more Africa safaris.

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