As of April 2003, the Ebola virus has wiped out thousands of gorillas in West Africa. In Gabon, officials have banned the hunting of bushmeat due to the deaths of over 120 people in Gabon and the Republic of the Congo from the disease. Ninety-five percent of the gorilla population is gone in Lossi Sanctuary in the Republic of the Congo. This includes the only two habituated family groups of western lowland gorillas. There are also signs that the epidemic has spread to apes in nearby Odzala National Park. The source of Ebola is unknown but possibly originates in a small forest animal.
For more and updated information about this crisis, consult the following online news articles:
- Double Threat Decimates Apes (Apr. 7, 2003)
- Study Predicts Crisis for Africa’s Apes (Apr. 6, 2003)
- Congo’s Ebola toll up to 114, outbreak partially under control (Mar. 28, 2003)
- Science – Reuters Ebola Death Toll in Congo Keeps Climbing (Mar. 15)
- Ebola Kills 100 in Congo, Wipes Out Gorillas (Mar. 11, 2003)
- Human killer ebola threatens Africa’s lowland gorillas(Jan. 4, 2003)
The above African News Alert articles and links were collected by the Gorilla Foundation editorial staff.