A new United Nations report estimates that roughly 3,000 great apes are taken from the wild every year as part of an illegal international trade that is growing increasingly sophisticated.
The report, “Stolen Apes,” calls for greater law enforcement and more investigations into the organized trafficking of chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos and orangutans.
Capture in the wild is often a byproduct of land clearance or bushmeat hunting. But the report found evidence that illicit trade had shifted “to a more sophisticated business driven by demand from international markets.”
The authors cited orders from zoos and private individuals in Asia that led to the export under falsified permits of more than 130 chimpanzees and 10 gorillas from Guinea, “an enterprise that requires a coordinated trading network through Central and West Africa.”