With saddened hearts, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported earlier this month that a habituated gorilla in the protected areas of the Dzanga Sangha in the Central African Republic had been shot and killed by poachers.
Image Credit: Janika Wendefeuer / WWF
Two men are reportedly in custody following this tragic event, which drew the attention from not only locals, but also from animal sympathizers all around the world.
Losing any of these valuable and beautiful creatures is a hard pill to swallow, and gorilla lovers have yet another thing to be upset about following the killing of Harambe to save a child’s life after the child fell into the gorilla’s pen at the Cincinatti Zoo.
Gorillas, which are known for their incredible intelligence, are endangered. Poaching continues to pose a real threat to their numbers, as well as a wide variety of other species.
The gorilla that was killed was a 12-year-old male blackback gorilla named Sosa, and the WWF reports that this is the first time a habituated gorilla has ever been killed in the 18 years that it has been around.
“This is the first killing of a habituated western lowland gorilla by poachers since our programme started here 18 years ago,” said Jean Bernard Yarissem, WWF’s CAR Country Director. “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.”
The Dzanga Sangha protected areas are among some of the safest places for protected species to roam. There are an estimated 2,215 gorillas, 500 chimpanzees, and even 710 elephants in these parts.
“Sosa’s killing will not endanger this critical project because it has the firm backing of local communities and authorities, who understand the benefits of protecting their gorillas and other wildlife resources,” said Yarissem. “We will overcome this setback and do everything we can to protect Mayele’s group and the region’s remaining gorillas.”
With the solid support from not only locals, but also the local authorities, it is hoped that justified and swift sentences will be imposed on those responsible for Sosa’s death.
Source: World Wildlife Fund