As recently as last year, the western lowland gorilla was listed as one of the world's most critically endangered primate species, nearly wiped out by the Ebola virus. But an arduous survey has revealed that 125,000 gorillas are living in the northern Congo Republic, deep in a swampy region rarely visited by humans. "This is the light of hope you look for," one conservationist told the New York Times.
The study was undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society and local Congolese researchers. They were the first primatologists ever to enter the 18,000-square-mile "green abyss" of the country's north. Globally, primates remain severely endangered, threatened by deforestation and hunting, but scientists are enjoying the good news. "It's just great to discover that these animals are doing well," said one.