One of my favourite ways of spending an afternoon is to head to Jersey Zoo sorry Durell in Trinity, Jersey to wander around the park and look at the animals – the majority of which are from heavily endangered species.
My favourite, by a very long way, is the West Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla Gorilla Gorilla) I could stand there for hours watching them get on with their every day lives.
We went to the zoo on Monday with the kids and my little one (well he’s four and just started nursery – but he’s a bit sensitive) got a bit scared of the Gorillas – he thought they would get him.
Anyway – on hearing Jaden scream in fear they all gracefully moved to the side where we were standing to see what all the fuss was about – they just stood there watching him.
Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.
These magnificent animals are on the brink of extinction because of everything from hunting for meat to the ebola virus.
The 2007 Red List of Threatened Species, published by the World Conservation Union listed the Western Lowland Gorilla as ‘Critically Endangered’ due to the Ebola Virus Infection.
This was an increase in their threat level from endangered the previous year.
More than 60% of Western Lowland Gorillas in Africa have been wiped out by the Ebola virus.
Together with loss of habitat to farmland, the illegal capture of gorillas for bush meat, the pet trade, hunting trophies and souvenirs and now the Ebola Virus, all species of Gorilla are now threatened with Extinction.
In one small area of Cameroon alone, an estimated 800 gorillas are taken each year, and for the rest of their range, this figure would be many thousands.
If the situation in the wild doesn’t improve, it’s more than possible that the only future for the Western Lowland Gorilla will be as captives in zoos and conservation centres.