Gorillas: objects in the hand of poachers

Posted in 21/10/2013

Leon El Dia mini
Gorila León before his transference to Brazil (Photo: El Día)

An observer of nature, suche as Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado , spoke very clearly at a TV programme recently:

“To have a gorilla at the zoo , you destroy a family .” He continues: ” People who are coming to the zoo to see gorilla should make a protest . A family of gorillas is like a family of humans . When I was photographing the gorillas, I was greeted by a family – you have a grandparent, a parent and you have children, and you have a vertical connection, as our human families. To put a gorilla in a zoo, you have to kill a parent , you have to kill a mother,  because a 300 kg gorilla 300 kg can not be easily taken, because he is a total muscle mass. They come and kill his father, kill his mother, steal the cub and take the puppy. The puppy goes to the zoo and turns to be a big gorilla. After that we will visit the zoo, but a family have been destroyed for that. Gorillas also have psychological problems. A gorilla who is in a family where the father and the mother are murdered will never fits in another group of gorillas and will end up dying too . So I think it’s a profound lack of respect.”

The Mayor of Belo Horizonte , Marcio Lacerda, the owners of Loro Park,  in the Canary Islands , Spain, and John Aspinal , owner of the Foundation that has his name , will have to answer some day to justice for the destruction of families of apes and caring only for the electoral marketing they believe this activity produces , as well as the benefits that this sordid trafficking of primitive hominids earns them .

The male gorilla León , who arrived in Belo Horizonte Zoo on October 11 , was born in an Israeli zoo and along with his brother , Aladin , was transferred to Loro Park, to be included in a group of gorillas that existed there. Loro Park  became receiver of bachelor males , torn from their families , and was joining them for a strategic reserve of young gorillas to “donate ” them to zoos and other European countries , which need to fill the gaps of that who die prematurely . At the same time , a young female, called  Lou – Lou , who was in a English zoo of John Aspinal  Foundation , was also sent to Belo Horizonte Zoo, being separated from her original family .

What is the purpose of all this? Protect the species? Undoubtedly , this is what they will respond . The bureaucrats who manipulate the lives of dozens of gorillas in captivity will hide behind this argument. But behind all this movement of valuable lives of gorillas to the brink of extinction, are the economic interests of a group of people and organizations that reap the benefits , popularity , social and political recognition in countries that do not have the least commitment to preservation of biodiversity .

CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora in Endangered), organization created to wild life trafficking and its trade of the same, seems to approve these transactions of apes across the boundaries of countries, without making a valuable judgment.

It is sad and tragic recognizing that the protection of biodiversity in the world is in the hands of those who care little for it and , even more, found a way, disguised as guardians , of profiting from it .

Dr. Pedro A. Ynterian

President , GAP Project International