Researchers Discover 125000 Western Lowland Gorillas in Congo

August 5, 2008

Wildlife researchers said Tuesday that they’ve discovered 125,000 western lowland gorillas deep in the forests of the Republic of Congo, calling it a major increase in the animal’s estimated population.

The Wildlife Conservation Society, based at New York’s Bronx Zoo, and the Republic of Congo said their census counted the newly discovered gorillas in two areas of the northern part of the country covering 18,000 square miles.

Previous estimates, dating to the 1980s, put the number of western lowland gorillas at less than 100,000. But the animal’s numbers were believed to have fallen by at least 50 percent since then due to hunting and disease, researchers said. The newly discovered gorilla population now puts their estimated numbers at between 175,000 to 225,000.

“This is a very significant discovery because of the terrible decline in population of these magnificent creatures to Ebola and bush meat,” said Emma Stokes, one of the research team.

The researchers in the central African nation of Republic of Congo – neighbor of the much larger Congo – worked out the population figures by counting the sleeping “nests” gorillas make. The creatures are too reclusive and shy to count individually.

Craig Stanford, professor of anthropology and biology at the University of Southern California, said he is aware of the new study. “If these new census results are confirmed, they are incredibly important and exciting, the kind of good news we rarely find in the conservation of highly endangered animals.” He added that independent confirmation will be valuable because nest counts vary depending on the specific census method used.

Western lowland gorillas are one of four gorilla subspecies, which also include mountain gorillas, eastern lowland gorillas and Cross River gorillas. All are labeled either endangered or critically endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While calling the new census important, Stokes said it does not mean gorilla numbers in the wild are now safe.

“Far from being safe, the gorillas are still under threat from Ebola and hunting for bush meat. We must not become complacent about this. Ebola can wipe out thousands in a short period of time,” she said.

The report was released as primatologists in Edinburgh, Scotland warned that nearly half of the world’s 634 types of primates are in danger of becoming extinct due to human activity. That figure, carried in a comprehensive review of the planet’s apes, monkeys, and lemurs, included primate species and subspecies.

Scientists meeting at the International Primatological Society Congress in Edinburgh said they hoped the report will help spur global action to defend mankind’s nearest relatives from deforestation and hunting.

Primatologists warned that species from the giant mountain gorillas of central Africa to the tiny mouse lemurs of Madagascar are on the “Red List” for threatened species maintained by the IUCN.

The review was funded by Conservation International, the Margot Marsh Biodiversity Foundation, Disney’s Animal Kingdom and the IUCN. It is part of an examination of the state of the world’s mammals due to be released at the 4th IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in October.

“It is not too late for our close cousins the primates, and what we have now is a challenge to turn this around,” said Russell A. Mittermeier, president of Conservation International and the chairman of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s primate specialist group.

“The review paints a bleak picture. Some primates are quite literally being eaten to extinction. But it is by no means a doomsday scenario. There is a lot of will here among these scientists in Edinburgh and in the countries where primates live.”

Article by Ben McConville

Andre Jetmir iNPLACENEWS

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Men in Kansas Arrested for Stealing Penises

April 24, 2008

Police in Kinshasa, Congo, have arrested 13 suspected “sorcerers” of using black magic to steal or shrink men’s penises, after a wave of panic arose and attempted lynchings which were triggered by the witchcraft.

For reals, y’all!

Reuters is reporting it!

Reports of snatching penises is not uncommon in West Africa, where there’s still a strong belief in traditional religions and witchcraft. There are often ritual killings to obtain blood or body parts.

Some residents accuse a separatist sect from Bas-Congo of being behind the penis robberies in revenge for a recent crackdown of its members by the government.

Penis robberies!!!!!

Rumors of the penis theft began circulating last week in Kinshasa. Citizens were calling in to radio talk shows to seek advise. Citizens were told to beware of passengers next to them in public transportation, wearing gold rings.

Somebody’s gonna snatch your cock on the metro!

There are supposedly 14 victims so far who claim that the sorcerers touched them, and their penises shrunk or disappeared! They claim it is an attempt to extort cash in return for a cure.

Uhm, right.

Local police chief, Jean-Dieudonne Oleko, said in a recent interview, “You just have to be accused of that, and people come after you. We’ve had a number of attempted lynchings. You see them covered in marks after being beaten.”

Oleko continued, “I’m tempted to say it’s one huge joke, but when you try to tell the victims that their penises are still there, they tell you that it’s become tiny or that they’ve become impotent. To that I tell them, ‘How do you know if you haven’t gone home and tried it’.”

Apparently, something similar happed over 10 years ago in Ghana, when 12 suspected penis robbers were beaten to death by angry mobs.

But residents are still claiming it’s real. Alain Kalala, a local citizen, said “It’s real. Just yesterday here, there was a man who was a victim. We saw. What was left was tiny.”

Unless it was tiny to begin with?

This was found @ Perez Hilton.com

iNPLACENEWS

*** Ok, ok. Not Kansas really, but rather Kinshasa, Congo. The same, right? Kidding. It’s just that Kinshasa and Kansas look the same at quick glance. Made you look though, right?