Nations Unite to Save Gorillas

10-year effort is the first to help dying species
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2008 5:00 AM CST
Only 720 mountain gorillas remain in the wild, all of them in central Africa. This file photo shows two gorillas in Uganda.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Three African nations where the world's last 720 wild mountain gorillas live are finally working together to save the critically endangered animal, the Guardian reports. Until the 10-year plan was announced last week, mistrust and conflict had kept Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo from collaborating as another 10 apes were killed in the last 14 months.

The Dutch government will dish out $6.1 million to help the nations synchronize their laws, share information, and provide alternative income to poor villagers who rely on poaching and illegally cutting wood in the gorillas' habitat for money. The announcement is a big boost for conservationists. But the developing protections will be difficult to enforce everywhere as large sections of the central African hills—including areas where gorillas live—are controlled by rebels and remain inaccessible.