Gorillas Under Threat
There are only about 655 mountain gorillas left on the planet, all of them living in the mountains of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Despite the region's natural wealth of resources, it's one of the poorest areas in the world. War, insecurity, and extreme poverty make it one of the worst humanitarian crises, with more than 4 million lives lost over the past 14 years. Caught in the middle of this social and economic crisis are the endangered mountain gorillas, whose future is inextricably linked with the peace and prosperity of the lands they inhabit.
In Rwanda, after the genocide ended, a new government started protecting the mountain gorillas. Next door, however, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, gorillas there are poached, or killed as trophies. Congo has been battered by civil war for more than a decade now and the gorilla's habitat is literally a battleground. So unstable, rangers can't even enter the forest to patrol and protect them. Rwanda's protection of these mountain gorillas is a lesson that conservation is possible. Yet the remaining mountain gorillas are teetering on brink of extinction.
- Photographer: Jeff Hutchens