United Nations helicopters airlifted four orphaned eastern lowland baby gorillas out of an area where the could have been captured and sold on the bushmeat market for food. Violence between human militias in the area reportedly has accelerated the illegal bushmeat trade. The UN indicates nearly 200 wildlife rangers have been killed in the last 15 years trying to protect ecologically rich and vulnerable habitats in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Three of the four orphans are females. They are now near the Tayna Nature Reserve. Six more orphaned gorillas of around the same age will be brought there from Rwanda to join them. “The hope is that the gorillas will bond into a unit strong enough to survive and multiply in the wild,” stated the UN Mission there.
These animals are endangered enough that they may cease to exist in the Greater Congo Basin in 10-20 years. Eastern lowland gorillas are the largest primate, and have been described as ‘shy vegetarians’.
Current TV has some beautiful video of the orphaned gorillas with their caretakers.
If you are interested in supporting gorillas, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International has a high rating on Charity Navigator.