|A dehydrated and stressed baby bonobo that was abandoned in the sun outside the kitchen where his mother is being grilled and devoured. How can anyone justify doing this to a great ape that is 99.6% us? This mother and child had a life living free in the wild until she was shot by poachers (Terese Hart/bonoboincongo.com).|
|Bonobo in "heavenly sleep" (Terese Hart)|
We are about to reach a tipping point in Africa beyond which it is going to be very hard to save the last populations of Africa’s most enigmatic species like the bonobo, mountain gorilla, lion, wild dog, giraffe, rhino, elephant, and cheetah.
Years of civil war, unrest, and corruption have broken the link for many people who now live in cities and have evolved a new belief system, together with their new consumption habits. Bonobo populations have declined significantly due to the bushmeat trade in recent years.
People are now eating them, so we need to look at what this represents in regard to our future in Africa. Ongoing anti-poaching efforts in source countries have yielded many successes, and many more people are trying to keep bonobos and other wildlife safe within protected areas. Forests and river basins are too vast, while resources and staff are too few for enforcement of new laws to be effective in slowing the erosion of Africa’s natural heritage.
We are just years away from that terrible morning when we all open our eyes and realize that we did not do enough when we could have and that now there was nothing left to save or do. As of today, we still have something to save and we had better get out there... More