Covid-19 and Other Threats to Gorillas!

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To: Rwanda President Paul Kagame; Uganda President Yoweri Museveni;  Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) President  Felix Tshisekedi; The Ellen Fund; Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund; International Gorilla Protection Program; Great Apes Survival Partnership Program; International Union for Conservation of Nature; UC Davis Gorilla Docs Board of Directors;

Re: Stopping Human Diseases and Poaching!

In view of the world wide spread of the Covid-19 virus and other life threatening infectious diseases it is time to end the close up gorilla photography encounters by international tourists! For decades the gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda have become sick and even died as a result of exposure to human diseases!

We urge you to:

Protect Gorilla Families

1. To protect the rights of endangered gorillas in Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda by stopping the risks from human diseases and poaching.

Poaching Protection

2. Stop tourism “habituation”! Poaching of gorillas continues due, in part, to habituation to humans! Gorillas can’t tell if people are poachers and it puts their lives at risk! There is still a Black Market for live gorilla “pets” and dead gorillas’ for “trophies”.

Physical and Mental Suffering

3. Gorilla Primatologist Dian Fossey believed that gorillas were succumbing to illnesses from close approaches by humans.

The present 7 meter permitted approaches continues to put gorillas at risk from deadly human diseases! Regular health checkups are conducted on park personnel, on people and their animals that live near gorilla habitats and on researchers BUT not on the large number of tourists with unknown health risks.

Gorilla tourism promotes close encounters to get “great photos”. However, with modern day cameras tourists can still get great photos from a respectful distance!

Increase Tourist Photography Zones

4.  Give gorillas their right to more freedom by implementing a minimum 200 yard safe zone from humans. This would provide privacy and a more natural family life.  In addition, People will not be attacked. Tourist fees would continue so no loss in revenue and tourism.

In Canada and the US the safety boundaries for orcas and people have been achieved by increasing boat distances from 100 meters to up to 400 meters. This stops injuries, noise and threats to their socializing and foraging. 

It is time to Stop the Gorilla Circuses! Give Them Back Their Privacy!

This zoo-type mentality violates their rights and freedom! How would you like it if people came into your home and followed you around all day? 

Please Fight for Gorilla Rights! Please Make Progressive Changes such as Ending Poaching and Implementing Safer Humane Wildlife Watching! Please End the Harmful "Habituation" by Close Up Tourism and Research!

Thank you!