Gorillas have a new threat. In addition to civil war and poachers, the coronavirus is also a danger to our evolutionary cousins in Central Africa.
Because the animals are very similar to humans genetically, they can get all the flu, Ebola and other human diseases. According to British scientists, Covid-19 is no exception. They studied selfies made by tourists in Ugandan, Rwandan and Congolese wildlife parks with the gorillas, and found that there is insufficient distance. In addition, tourists do not wear mouthcaps when taking pictures with the animals.
“ The risk of wildlife park visitors contaminating gorillas is particularly worrying,” says lead researcher Gaspard Van Hamme from Oxford University to CNN. “It is essential that we tighten and enforce the rules to ensure that trekkings to areas where gorillas live will not further jeopardize these already endangered apes.”
Mainly enforcement is important. It may seem crazy to go around in a wildlife park with a mouthcap, but before the coronapandemic this was mandatory for tourists looking for gorillas. However, practice shows that virtually no one adheres to them and that guides hardly put pressure on tourists to get to know how to go. to wear masks.
Only about 1050 mountain gorillas are alive in the wild, so they could miss a corona epidemic like toothache.