Kidnapped Gorillas Go Home

Five years later, the 'Taiping Four' make the trip back to Cameroon
By Michael O'Connor,  Newser User
Posted Dec 1, 2007 9:29 AM CST
A rare Westland Lowland gorilla looks out from a crate as four of the rare gorillas are transferred to a plane destined for Cameroon, Friday, Nov. 30, 2007, at the Jomo Kenyatta international airport...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – For four rare gorillas who were illegally smuggled from their home in Cameroon five years ago, the long journey has finally come to an end, the BBC reports. The one male and three female Western Lowland gorillas are returning to the Limbe Wildlife Sanctuary in Cameroon after being sedated and crated for an 18-hour air trip from Johannesburg, South Africa.

The so-called "Taiping Four" were welcomed back to Cameroon during a ceremony yesterday after living most of their 6-year lives at the Taiping Zoo in Malaysia and then South Africa's Pretoria Zoo. The gorillas' safe return gives some hope for the future of the Western Lowland breed, whose status was recently upgraded to "critically endangered."