So discouraging. I wish humanity could wake up to what we are doing to the natural world. -- Dallas

Chimps, gorillas, other apes struggling to survive

BANGKOK (AP) — The multibillion-dollar trade in illegal wildlife — clandestine trafficking that has driven iconic creatures like the tiger to near-extinction — is also threatening the survival of great apes, a new U.N. report says.

Endangered chimpanzees, orangutans, gorillas and bonobos are disappearing from the wild in frightening numbers, as private owners pay top dollar for exotic pets, while disreputable zoos, amusement parks and traveling circuses clamor for smuggled primates to entertain audiences.

More than 22,000 great apes are estimated to have been traded illegally over a seven-year period ending in 2011. That's about 3,000 a year; more than half are chimpanzees, the U.N. report said.

"These great apes make up an important part of our natural heritage. But as with all things of value, great apes are used by man for commercial profit and the illegal trafficking of the species constitutes a serious threat to their existence," Henri Djombo, a government minister from the Republic of Congo, was quoted as saying.

The U.N. report paints a dire picture of the fight to protect vulnerable and dwindling flora and fauna from organized criminal networks that often have the upper hand.

Apes are hunted in their own habitats, which are concentrated in central and western Africa, by sophisticated smugglers who transport them on private cargo planes using small airstrips in the African bush. Their destination is usually the Middle East and Asia.

In countries like Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Lebanon, great apes are purchased to display as show pieces in private gardens and menageries. [CONTINUE]

Tags: apes, extinction, poaching, primates

Views: 66

Replies to This Discussion

I get so disgusted with humankind...

Me too !

As with all things of value, humans use anything and everything for commercial profit. I wonder where their sense of morals and ethics derive?

I don't think morals or ethics comes into play. Of course, many vegans think I'm a terrible person for not being a vegan. 

Still, I don't blame the poachers as much as I blame the end users who drive it. I bet the poachers are often poor, uneducated, and somewhat desperate people who don't understand the global consequences of their actions.

The majority of the blame falls on the end users--those who want to imprison this creatures for entertainment, or stuff them like furniture. 

The unending conceit and vanity of humans!!!!!

Dallas, yes, you are correct to emphasize the buyers and users of such treasures. The "poor, uneducated, desperate people are not the ones to challenge. 

Very sad news - I hope after attention is given to this problem maybe things will change.

It's disgusting.


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