Mountain Gorillas: War

The countries of Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda are home to the last 600 or so Mountain Gorillas left in the world. Since 1990, this region has been racked by civil unrest and war. We know that the effects on the human populace have been devastating, but how have the world’s only Mountain Gorillas fared? I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Amy Vedder is Director of Africa programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

“In 1994 this cataclysmic war broke out in Rwanda, a war in which well over five hundred thousand people died. During that period of time and the lower scale civil war that took place before, we only know of one Mountain Gorilla that died as opposed to these large, large numbers of people. In the meantime, however, since refugee camps were set up in eastern Zaire, now [called] Congo, there was hunting and the leaving of human waste, a lot of deforestation that took place in eastern Zaire, right on the boundary of Mountain Gorilla habitat. Since that time it’s been so insecure, there’s been such continued strife in and around the forest, that we still don’t know the status of the gorillas, no one’s been able to get back in to do an assessment of numbers of gorillas, their health. And in fact no park guards, park personnel have been in the forest for any significant amount of time at all since June of 1997.

For transcripts of this and other programs in our series, please visit our website at www.pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Mountain Gorillas: War

How have Mountain Gorillas fared during Rwanda’s years of violent civil war?
Air Date:05/14/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

The countries of Rwanda, Zaire and Uganda are home to the last 600 or so Mountain Gorillas left in the world. Since 1990, this region has been racked by civil unrest and war. We know that the effects on the human populace have been devastating, but how have the world's only Mountain Gorillas fared? I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

Amy Vedder is Director of Africa programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society.

"In 1994 this cataclysmic war broke out in Rwanda, a war in which well over five hundred thousand people died. During that period of time and the lower scale civil war that took place before, we only know of one Mountain Gorilla that died as opposed to these large, large numbers of people. In the meantime, however, since refugee camps were set up in eastern Zaire, now [called] Congo, there was hunting and the leaving of human waste, a lot of deforestation that took place in eastern Zaire, right on the boundary of Mountain Gorilla habitat. Since that time it's been so insecure, there's been such continued strife in and around the forest, that we still don't know the status of the gorillas, no one's been able to get back in to do an assessment of numbers of gorillas, their health. And in fact no park guards, park personnel have been in the forest for any significant amount of time at all since June of 1997.

For transcripts of this and other programs in our series, please visit our website at www.pulseplanet.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.