Jun 192017
 
30 years of protecting the mysterious Okapi

The discovery of the elusive okapi, once believed to be a mythical unicorn, was one of the most exciting taxonomic findings of the twentieth century. This mysterious mammal lives deep inside the tropical forests of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and has been known to the western world only since early 1900s. Some […]

Jun 162017
 
Congo Miners Poach At-Risk Animals Because They Have Nothing Else to Eat

A new study finds that small-scale mineral mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is a critical factor in illegal poaching of great apes and other wildlife. It’s happening for the saddest, most basic of reasons, too: Those miners are hungry. In fact, the miners have no other source of meat/protein. Sure, […]

Oct 212016
 
POLL: Should wild animals be kept in zoos?

London zoo has denied rumours that the gorilla that escaped from its enclosure on Thursday evening did so by smashing a window. Malcolm Fitzpatrick, senior curator of mammals for the zoo, said “categorically … that our male silverback gorilla Kumbuka did not break through any glass”. But he repeatedly rebuffed questions over how the animal […]

Jul 102016
 
Reserve with rare gorillas finally protected

The calamitous civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has killed more than five million people. It has also nearly wiped out populations of the world’s largest primate — the Grauer’s gorilla. From an estimated 17,000 individuals in 1995, Grauer’s numbers have fallen to less than 4,000 today, thanks to prolonged civil unrest, […]

May 292015
 
12 Extraordinary Pictures Show Animals Headed for Extinction

On Endangered Species Day, there are thousands of species that may not be around for long. The term “endangered species” usually brings to mind charismatic animals—fluffy pandas and majestic tigers. But there are thousands of lesser-known species that are in greater danger of disappearing. These animals, categorized as “critically endangered” by the International Union for […]

Apr 202015
 
Expedition in the Congo rediscovers lost primate

The last time there was a sighting of Bouvier’s red colobus disco was all the rage, the Internet was non-existent, and Madonna still referred solely to the mother of God. But then the African monkey vanished and conservationists feared it had gone extinct—a victim of the bushmeat trade. For years, research groups called for an […]

Apr 182015
 
Mountain Gorillas Reveal Their Genetic Secrets

A team of genetic scientists, co-led by Dr Chris Tyler-Smith of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and Dr Aylwyn Scally of the University of Cambridge, UK, has sequenced the whole genome of the mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) and compared it with the genomes of three other Gorilla subspecies – the western lowland gorilla (G. […]

Feb 192015
 
In Photos: "Drunk" mountain gorilla punches wildlife photographer

Photographer Christophe Courteau was taking snaps of mountain gorillas in the forest of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park when the group’s 250 kg alpha male charged at him out of the blue. Amazingly, Courteau managed to get in one last shot of the incoming fist before the punch connected. Caters News Agency reports that the very […]

Nov 032013
 
Meeting the mammal that survived the dinosaurs

So, here I am, running in a forest at night over 2,000 miles from home. This forest—dry, stout, and thorny enough to draw blood—lies just a few miles north of a rural town in the western edge of the Dominican Republic on the border with Haiti. I’m following—or trying to keep pace with—a local hunter […]

May 222013
 
Why responsible tourism is the key to saving the mountain gorilla

The sunlight poured through the canopy, casting dappled shade over Makara, a large silverback mountain gorilla, as he cast his eyes around the forest clearing, checking on the members of his harem. A female gorilla reclined on a bank of dense vegetation of the most brilliant green, clutching her three day old infant close to […]