Gorilla Deaths in Democratic Republic of Congo
Recently there have been reports from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) of as many as a thousand gorilla deaths due to poaching since 1996. While it is certain that many gorillas — of the eastern lowland subspecies — have been killed in Kahuzi-Biega National Park of the DRC, the magnitude of the killings, while alarming, can only be crudely estimated. Gorilla poaching, along with that of elephants, in Kahuzi-Biega is principally for bushmeat, the demand for which has been heightened by the devastating economic effects of the ongoing civil war on the local population. Though the victims are not mountain gorillas, we are deeply concerned about the preservation of this park and its wildlife, as well as the well-being of the surrounding human population.