Habituated Lowland Gorilla Family Killed in Central African Republic

The sad news break broke down many primate lovers, tour operators  and conservationist when the 12 year old sosa of the Mayele group was killed by poachers in a car during the monitoring process by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). Remember gorillas are habituated and they spend time with conservationist every day as a way of wining their trust. The incident took place in June 2016 in Dzanga Sangha Protected Areas in the Central African Republic but the loss has never been recovered till present.

Two suspects were arrested though their intentions have not been clear still of either hunting for bush meat or sosa in particular. He was a unique character in the family that he even gave in his life to save others a rare character in fellow humans. How great and amazing are the habituated mountain gorillas in the wild? In history it’s the first killing of a habituated western lowland gorilla by poachers after the World Wildlife Fund started running programs in the area.

The director of the World Wildlife fund Jean Bernard Yarissem confirmed how difficult and dangerous it is to carry on conservation work and she hopes that the victims get the right penalties and punishment after investigations. “This is a stark reminder of how difficult and dangerous conservation work in CAR can be, and we are calling on the authorities to thoroughly and swiftly investigate this case and hand down appropriate sentences to the perpetrators.” said the director of World Wildlife Fund.

Among the three low land habituated gorilla families, Mayele is one of the most attractive with nine members instead of ten after parting ties with Sosa. Sosa the son of Mayele the group silver back was habituated in 2005 and researchers including the site manager Terece Fuh refer to him as the most exciting character and a social member who could blend and mix up with everyone in the group including the young. Confidence and maturity are one of the current signs of Sosa a strong character that was soon supporting his separation form the main family to start up his own giving birth to another new family of lowland gorillas. Though the dream hasn’t t come true, we still believe that the low land gorillas will increase in future as conservation efforts move forward.

Even the Ape programme leader Mr David Greer expressed his sincere sympathy and sorrow about the death of Sosa and said “Having worked in Dzanga Sangha for almost 9 years, I am incredibly moved by the killing of Sosa, whom I spent time with on a number of occasions, but while we mourn the death of this popular blackback, we must remember that wild, unhabituated gorillas are being killed at a rapid, unsustainable rate across the Congo basin and urgently need enhanced protection.” As gorilla tourism grow across the region with many gorilla tracking safari visitors, poaching remain the most serious threat in Dzanga Sangha despite the other factors like diseases.

The 2015 survey confirmed that Dzanga Sangha has 2215 gorillas, 500 chimpanzees and 710 elephants a number that has been maintained for a while now by the World wildlife Fund through research and several conservation programs. Security is one of the park management priorities a tool that tracked down the poachers immediately after snatching away Sosa form the other nine Mayele members. Several trackers are employed around the park together with Eco guards including Ba Aka a man with great forest knowledge and wildlife.

The park management doesn’t only make park guards and trackers happy but also go an extra mile and give 40% of the total tourism earning to the local community for development. Many Community projects showed locals that gorilla tourism in the area of for their good but not for government and death of Sosa surprisingly shock locals more than before. Many where seen visiting the park headquarters to show their sympathy and sincere pain for the loss of the beautiful ape and also demanding for his death justice. We all know that gorilla tourism is not only done in democratic republic of Congo but also in Uganda and Rwanda where thousand come to see the remaining mountain gorillas in Bwindi impenetrable forest and Volcanoes National Park. However, a gorilla tour to see either lowland gorillas or mountain gorillas is same but the difference is the name of parks that one chose to visit.

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