The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda survived a horrific war that killed an estimated 750,000 people. In the midst of chaos and catastrophe that affected every family in this small and impoverished African nation, one of the world's most endangered primates was considered important enough to protect.
Who hasn't dreamed of going on a wildlife-viewing safari to sub-Saharan Africa? Inspired by the wish to observe exotic animals in their natural environment, the promise of grand adventure, and the opportunity to experience traditional African culture, each of us has a unique vision for our African trip of a lifetime.
The unthinkable happened in Rwanda late in the afternoon of May 9th. Two highly endangered female mountain gorillas were slaughtered in the Parc National des Volcans.
With a mere 660 mountain gorillas in the world, their conservation status has afforded them considerable protection. Nonetheless, poachers killed two mothers, Impanga (11 years old) and Muraha (25 years old), ostensibly for their babies. One of the babies is missing, and the other was found huddled next to her dead mother.
The African Wildlife Foundation has been at the forefront of rhinoceros conservation for several decades. In the early 1970s rhino horn was in high demand in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, and these magnificent creatures were being poached to the brink of extinction. AWF recognized this alarming development and joined with other conservation organizations to target the consumer market and launch conservation efforts.
The following story ran in the April 19, 2002, issue of The Topeka Capital Journal:
Gorillas top her list - Native of Holland heads organization that tries to preserve mountain gorillas in Africa
by Chris Moon
Mountain gorillas aren't native to Kansas. Not even close.