While National Geographic may be the best magazine educating Americans about the horrors of the modern world, the organization also makes a point of highlighting positive earth news when it happens, such as the discovery that Congo may hold an additional 125,000 western lowland gorillas, which would double the known population of the critically endangered beast.
Western lowland gorillas are a subspecies classified as critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
Their numbers have been devastated in recent years by illegal hunting for bush meat and the spread of the Ebola virus. Just last year scientists projected the animals’ population could fall as low as 50,000 by 2011.
Now those predictions may have to be dramatically reworked to incorporate findings released today [Thursday] by the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS).
A first ever ape census in northern Congo found 73,000 of the gorillas in that country’s Ntokou-Pikounda region and 52,000 more in the Ndoki-Likouala area.
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