DR Congo | 50 more critically endangered Grauer’s gorillas discovered living in Maiko NP
A mere 15 Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) were believed to live inside Africa’s Maiko National Park. But biologist Damien Caillaud suspected otherwise. He felt sure the preserve’s nearly-impassable jungle could shelter more of the Critically Endangered great apes — hidden in deep gorges in the shadow of precipitous peaks.
No one knew for sure. Maiko, which sprawls across some 4,000 square miles in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has remained unexplored since the Congolese civil war broke out in 1994. Though the conflict officially ended in 2003, armed militias continue to make this region — and this nation — among the most dangerous places to monitor and conserve wildlife.