Great apes in grave danger

Thursday 8th July 2021
Siamese crocodile hatchling being held by conservationist

Great apes in grave danger

What’s happening is a tragedy. Nothing short of it.

Over the last few decades, Grauer’s gorillas have been practically obliterated. They’ve been under assault from all sides – hunted by humans, carved up for bushmeat, sold as pets, plagued with diseases and had their forest home decimated by illegal logging and mining.

Unsurprisingly the cost in lives has been brutal.

A staggering 77% of the population was wiped out in just 20 years – three-quarters of the population gone in less than a lifetime.

The devastating civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo brought humans to their doorstep, and the destruction that followed was sickening. In the blink of an eye, these gentle giants found themselves thrust into the centre of the fighting – their homes demolished, entire families slaughtered.

And while the civil war is technically over, the violence has barely subsided. The gorillas are still being forced to struggle for survival, and today there are fewer than 4,000 alive.

If the loss continues at this gruesome rate, they simply won’t survive much longer.

We need to save them.

Recovery is going to be difficult – the damage is deep, and the suspension of tourism since the Covid-19 outbreak has caused a dramatic fall in the funds going towards their protection. It will take a lot of work to help bring Grauer’s gorilla back from the brink.

But we have proved it can be done – we have already aided their cousins, the mountain gorillas, helping their population rise from just a few hundred to over a thousand today. Now – with your support – we can help Grauer’s gorilla recover too.

Your donations could help fund vital forest patrols across the gorillas’ habitat, enabling rangers to monitor the wildlife, destroy illegal snares and raise awareness among local communities. This will be crucial in securing the future of this captivating great ape.

With your support, we can keep Grauer’s gorillas flourishing and free – ending the suffering they never deserved.

Please help save Grauer’s gorillas. If everyone reading this donates just £3, you could fund essential patrol teams deterring illegal poaching, helping to protect this extraordinary primate. Thank you.

Jonathan Downes
Cryptozoologist, naturalist, musician, singer, composer, poet, novelist and Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology since 1992. Jon was born in Portsmouth in 1959 and spent his infancy in Nigeria and his childhood in Hong Kong. His wife Corinna died of cancer in 2020, leaving him with two stepdaughters and a six year old granddaughter called Evelyn.