Why people poach gorillas
Why people poach gorillas? Illegal hunting or poaching is one of the main threats to gorillas and many other endangered species.
Both species of gorillas remain as endangered, and the mountain gorilla subspecies, for example, has a population of only 680 individuals in the wild. However, poaching does not seem to reduce.
The current condition of gorilla populations has put them on the endangered species list, and they are under maximum protection from governments and organizations in a continuous effort to increase their populations. However, despite these conservation efforts, some people manage to continue hunting illegally.
There are several causes why people keep poaching gorillas, but most are profit-making related:
To sell their meat.
In West and Central Africa, meat from many wild animals, which are not usual in the Western world consumption, is regularly eaten. The killing of animals such as lemurs or bats for that purpose is common. In remote areas of these regions, gorillas are also hunted to sell their meat as food, as the earnings are slightly higher than other kinds of meat, which increases the average family income.
While African villagers can consume gorillas meat, sending it to other countries like the United States is a more lucrative option. Obviously, this is also illegal, but in some bizarre circles, the consumption of such meat can mean status.
For Private collections or as “trophies”.
Gorilla bodies or parts of them are trophies for people wealthy enough to afford it, and sick enough to do it. The storage of these parts has no scientific or educational use; they irrationally keep them as a trophy.
Moreover, some hunters capture gorillas to keep them alive and sell them to private zoos. They keep those gorillas as exotic pets, although this is not common because the size and cares they need when they reach adulthood are numerous, people with enough resources to do it, have them in these own zoos, sometimes not providing the proper care to these animals.
To sell parts of their bodies.
Besides selling the meat and alive gorillas, certain body parts are required to make traditional medicines and what are thought to be “magic” remedies and this is partly the reason why people poach gorillas. It should be clear that the effectiveness of these traditional remedies is not scientifically proven.
The toll of poaching on all species and subspecies is very high. For example, killing mountain gorillas and Cross River gorillas is brutal, because their populations are small, their birth rate is low, and the area where they live is extremely limited.
These wars were among the main causes for the death of these animals because a lot of bombings, shootings and fires would take place at Mahura forest of Virunga which acted as a hiding place for the rebel groups. The works of Park authorities together with the combination of park rangers, security team and community members has brought back the glory of these species. Since 2019, tourism has increased to 1,000 guests visiting the park since it was reopened in February.
You too, you can support this good cause for eliminating poaching by providing financial assistance to the parks projects. You can also have time and pass by the Park’s offices or you can contribute by booking a tour to the park because when you pay for the tour, some money portion helps to run the parks projects like paying park rangers. You can buy a commodity from the local people once you are in the country and this will make the locals know the importance of tourism in an area.