Monday, Nov. 03, 2008

More Gorillas in the Mist

A rare bit of good news for the beloved — and beleaguered — western lowland gorilla: New surveys this summer by the Wildlife Conservation Society put the species' numbers far higher than scientists had thought. The forests and swamps of the northern Republic of Congo are now thought to be home to 125,000 gorillas, or up to twice the previous estimates. But the good news was, as so often happens, followed by bad. War in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo has spilled into the Virunga National Park there, threatening the tiny and far more fragile population of 350 or so mountain gorillas — half of the world's total.