Terence Fuh Neba, head of the gorilla habituation program in DSPA, explains why the protection of gorillas in COVID-19 times is so important.
These measures include disinfecting shoes, washing and disinfecting hands as well as wearing a mask near the gorillas. People with infections are not allowed to visit gorillas. Various vaccinations, such as the standard vaccinations against smallpox and polio, are mandatory before visiting the gorillas in the rainforest.
In Corona times, these measures were even more stringent for the gorilla habituation programme. Less people at one time are allowed to observe the animals and the distance was increased from 10m to 15m.
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Even habituated gorillas remain wild animals and can only be observed from a distance. That's why trying to identify the sex of a juvenile gorilla is like a game of chance, and even trained observers can hardly get more than a fifty percent hit rate.
written by Lara Nellissen
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