Thursday, October 16, 2014

Vaccinate gorillas against Ebola, Gorilla Doctors recommend

Veterinarians who care for wild gorillas want government permission to give the endangered animals an experimental Ebola vaccine in case of a nearby viral outbreak.

Mike Cranfield, the Canadian co-director of the non-profit group Gorilla Doctors, says its member are "very, very concerned" about the risk to gorillas of Ebola.

The human outbreak centred in West Africa has killed nearly 4,500 people, the World Health Organization reported Wednesday.

But previous outbreaks have killed tens of thousands of gorillas and chimpanzees — a 2002 outbreak at Lossie Sanctuary in northwest Congo alone killed 5,000 gorillas, or 93 per cent of the population at the sanctuary, at the time, a 2006 study reported.

"It's so devastating," said Cranfield. "Where people had gone in before and there was high numbers of great apes ... now they go in and it's completely silent. They can't find any."

Full story here.

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