By Marianne de Nazareth
When you see one baby Orangutan on the International pet market,or in a picture wrapped around a celebrity, just remember it took ten or more apes to die, to get that one animal.Its mother was the first one to get shot and a number of the others in the family group. It is an utter shame that we as humans are allowing this to happen to apes which are closest to us in their DNA. The illegal trade that sees almost 3,000 live great apes lost from the forests of Africa and Southeast Asia each year is increasingly impacting wild populations as links to organized crime grow stronger. Stolen Apes: The Illicit Trade in Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Bonobos and Orangutans is the first report to analyze the scale and scope of the illegal trade and highlights the growing links to sophisticated trans-boundary crime networks, which law enforcement networks find hard to control.
The report , which was produced by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) through the Great Apes Survival Partnership (GRASP), estimates that a minimum of 22,218 great apes have been lost from the wild since 2005. They are either sold, killed during the hunt, or dying in captivity, with chimpanzees comprising 64 per cent of that number. The report examines confiscation records, international trade databases, law enforcement reports, and arrival rates from sanctuaries and rehabilitation centers between 2005 and 2011. E ach great ape listed in the illegal trade represents many more that died either during the capture or the trafficking process.
Over the past seven years, a minimum of 643 chimpanzees, 48 bonobos, 98 gorillas and 1,019 orangutans are documented to have been captured from the wild for illegal trade. These figures are just the tip of the iceberg, and extrapolating from this research the report estimates that at least 2,972 great apes are lost from the wild each year. More....