People, Environment

DRC War Wiping Out Apes

DRC War Wiping Out ApesDRC War Wiping Out Apes

A report recently published by the Wildlife Conservation Society suggested that the biggest great apes on our planet have faced a ‘catastrophic’ population fall down in the last two decades.

Grauer’s gorilla is a subspecies located just in the lawless eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. It was a victim of the same evil civil war that took over six million human lives during year 1996 and 2003, Maine News Online reported.

Grauer’s gorillas weigh up to 400 pounds (181 kilograms), and are the heavyweight cousins of the more prominently known mountain gorillas, of which below thousand now exist in the wild.

As per estimations, in the early 1990s the Grauer’s gorillas numbered around 17,000, but for long experts have been afraid that ensuing civil unrest badly affected the population.

The fears have now got confirmation. Wildlife biologists at the WCS and Fauna & Flora International carried out a broad field campaign and concluded that less than 4,000 individuals exist presently, which indicates a 77% population drop during the course of a generation.

Lead study author Andy Plumptre told Gizmodo: “Until the last three to four years, it’s been impossible to get into many of the areas where these gorillas live. This is the most comprehensive report to date, and it’s a lot worse than we expected”.

The problem in the life of Grauer’s gorillas goes back to the Rwandan genocide of 1994 when hundreds of thousands of refugees were forced to run away into the DRC.

In turn, this resulted into a devastating civil war, which was the modern African history’s worst. The conflict over the DRC’s widespread mineral resources drew nine other countries and scores of armed militia. In a time period of seven years, millions lost their lives in fighting, to disease and starvation.