Skip to comments.Congo Rebels Said to Kill, Eat Gorillas
Posted on 01/17/2007 2:08:10 PM PST by DogByte6RER
Congo Rebels Said to Kill, Eat Gorillas
Jan 17 3:31 PM US/Eastern
By TODD PITMAN
Associated Press Writer
DAKAR, Senegal (AP) -- Rebels in eastern Congo have killed and eaten two silverback mountain gorillas, conservationists said Wednesday, warning they fear more of the endangered animals may have been slaughtered in the lawless region.
Only about 700 mountain gorillas remain in the world, 380 of them spread across a range of volcanic mountains straddling the borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda in Central Africa.
One dismembered gorilla corpse was found Tuesday in a pit latrine in Congo's Virunga National Park, a few hundred yards from a park patrol post that was abandoned because of rebel attacks, according to the London-based Africa Conservation Fund. Another was killed in the same area on Jan. 5, said the group, which based its report on conservationists in the field.
The group blamed rebels loyal to a local warlord, Laurent Nkunda, for the latest killing. Nkunda is a renegade soldier who commands thousands of fighters in the vast country's east who have in recent years assaulted cities and clashed sporadically with government forces.
Silverbacks are older adult males and usually group leaders, though some are loners.
Paulin Ngobobo, a senior park warden, wrote an Internet blog about finding the latest remains.
"We've learned a lot: the gorilla had in fact been eaten for meat. His name was Karema, another solitary silverback that had been born into a habituated group _ meaning that he had grown to trust humans enough to let them come to within touching distance," Ngobobo wrote.
"We learned that the remaining gorillas are extremely vulnerable - the rebels are after the meat, and it's not difficult for them to find and kill the few gorillas that remain."
Ngobobo said the first gorilla reported killed had been shot by rebels and eaten.
"A local farmer was ordered to help the rebels collect the meat of the gorilla," Ngobobo said. "He told them that the meat was dangerous to eat, and immediately informed us."
Robert Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society, who accompanied Ngobobo, said: "We need to impress on Nkunda and his men that it is inexcusable to destroy national and world heritage of such critical importance. ... Now that we know that the slaughtered gorilla was eaten, the gorillas habituated for tourism are at extreme risk - and we are worried that more have been killed already."
The last remaining hippo populations in Congo are in Virunga and are also on the verge of being wiped out. Conservationists have blamed rebels and militias for slaughtering them, and say more than 400 were killed last year, mostly for food. Only 900 hippos remain, a huge drop from the 22,000 reported there in 1998.
Virunga park has been ravaged by poachers and deforestation for more than a decade. The 1994 Rwandan genocide saw millions of refugees spill into Congo, marking the beginning of an era of unrest, lawlessness and clashes between militias and rebel groups.
Mineral-rich Congo, which held its first democratic elections in more than four decades last year, is struggling to recover from a 1998-2002 war that drew in the armies of more than half a dozen African nations.
The job of protecting the country's parks falls on local rangers, and the risks are high. In Virunga alone, some 97 rangers have died on duty since 1996, the Africa Conservation Fund said.
On his blog, Ngobobo also described being shot at and beaten by the military, who he and other rangers were trying to persuade to stop cutting down the forest.
Richard Leakey, a conservationist credited with helping end the slaughter of elephants in Kenya during the 1980s, said: "The survival of these last remaining mountain gorillas should be one of humanity's greatest priorities. Their future lies with a small number of very brave rangers risking their lives with very little support from the outside world."
On the Net:
Virunga Park Warden Paulin Ngobobo's blog,
The rebels need to go back to killing people so the liberals won't get upset.
Tastes like chicken!
Beat me to it!
There's nothing going on in Africa that's not heartbreaking.
An army travels on its stomach.
When the gorillas are all gone, the army will have to revert to eating other humans.
Good reason to retrieve corpses when the raid is over.
From The Congo Cookbook:
Monkey bushmeat is commonly consumed in tropical Africa. Monkey meat is prepared fresh in rural areas. It is also smoked to preserve it and allow it to be sent to market in the cities. A common sight along rural roads is smoked whole monkeys for sale, tales tied to heads to make carrying handles. Fresh monkey meat is often cooked in a Tomato Sauce made from tomatoes, chile peppers, and onions. Smoked monkey meat can be prepared in a Tomato-Peanut sauce: Soak the smoked meat in water, then rinse and drain it. Fry tomatoes, onions, chile pepper, in hot palm oil. Add tomato paste and the monkey meat. Simmer until all is tender. Season with salt and pepper.
Hey Jane, pass the hot sauce.
It's been so, for as long as I can remember.
The same people who are most offended by these guys killing and eating apes are generally the ones who believe in evolution. Wouldn't this be evolution at work - one species displacing another?
Well, that'll get the anti-death peanlty crowd to change their minds if nothing else will.
B oh oh. H oh oh.
Sorry. I mean Dian Fossey.
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