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iWild: For more see iWild.org


“Enforcement does not exist.” That’s the damning conclusion of Endangered Species International’s year-long undercover investigation of bushmeat in the Republic of the Congo, also known as Congo-Brazzaville. The investigators found that as many as two western lowland gorillas—their bodies dismembered into hand-sized portions sold for around US$6—were being sold each week in Pointe Noire, the second largest city in the country. “We estimate that 4% of the population is being killed each month, or 50% in a year,” ESI’s president, Pierre Fidenci, told BBC Earth News. “It is a lot.” Should it continue, poaching in the Kouilou region could wipe out gorilla populations there within a decade. ESI plans to work with poachers to provide alternative sources of income while promoting the creation of a gorilla reserve. Given that poaching—exacerbated by logging roads cut deep into remote areas— has posed a significant and well-known threat for years in western Africa, it might be time to ask why a more concerted, effective effort has not been made by governments and international NGOs to address it.
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