Mountain Gorillas Killings Fueled by Charcoal Trade

Like orangutans dying for a cookie, gorillas in the Congo are dying because people in Rwanda need charcoal to cook and heat. "The gorillas have become a hindrance for the charcoal trade," said Emmanuel de Merode, director of WildlifeDirect."There's a very strong incentive for these people to kill the gorillas."

The forests of Virunga National Park, near Rwanda, are being depleted by the illegal charcoal trade; Rwanda banned production of charcoal so it is smuggled in. "The last 15 years of Congo's history have been defined by the illegal exploitation of natural resources," de Merode said. "The charcoal trade definitely fits into that reality."

Once again energy trumps biodiversity. Sigh. ::National Geographic

Tags: Rwanda

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