Sunday, January 12, 2003

AFRICAN APES AT RISK FROM EBOLA

Gorillas In the Midst of an Outbreak?
Ebola virus threatens Africa’s primates

Jan. 20 issue — Apollo, the world’s best-known gorilla, is missing, and the Ebola virus may be the culprit. The alpha male of a 24-member family hasn’t been seen since early December, when two members of his family were found dead—along with three other endangered western lowland gorillas and several chimps—in the remote Odzala National Park of the Republic of the Congo....

The Wildlife Conservation Society, based at the Bronx Zoo, suggests that huge numbers of gorillas and chimps may have died in an Ebola epidemic in the area five years ago. And the new outbreak may not be over—another chimp was found dead in the park last week....