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After chimpanzees, gorillas are our closest living relatives, sharing 98 percent of our DNA. Intelligence is among the many characteristics they share with humans. You’ve probably heard of Koko the gorilla. She is famous for having a sign language vocabulary of over 1,000 words, which she uses to communicate with her caretakers. Koko is just one example of the abilities these dynamic animals possess.
Sadly, life for wild gorillas is now at stake due to a proposed superhighway in Nigeria that would destroy their home. Animal advocates and conservationists raised the alarm about this as soon as they learned and the pressure against the superhighway has been productive. On February 15th, the government of Cross River State announced that they canceled plans for the 12-mile-wide buffer to the proposed superhighway. This was a huge win for wildlife and the local Ekuri people, but vital habitat for the Cross River gorilla, as well as chimpanzees, forest elephants, and pangolins is still in the path of this superhighway. According to the World Wildlife Fund, Cross River gorillas are critically endangered with only 200-300 left in the wild. So why are we about to destroy their home?
Sign this urgent petition by the Wildlife Conservation Society thanking Governor Ben Ayade for dropping the destructive 12-mile buffer and urge him to reroute the superhighway to save the rainforest.
According to Wildlife Conservation Society, the local Cross River State government is threatening Nigeria’s federal government with a three-week ultimatum to approve the proposed superhighway or else they will take over management of Cross River National Park. That means we only have until March 13th to stop the bulldozing of the rainforest and have the superhighway rerouted. That’s less than two weeks away.
These gorillas are already critically endangered and a large project like building a superhighway could further disturb and threaten their way of life. We simply can’t afford to see a single one of these individuals harmed as a result of human greed and industry.
The petition already has over 45,500 signatures but the gorillas need more help. Please sign and then share this post with your friends and family on your Twitter and Facebook. The gorillas are counting on you.
Image Source: Alan Nudman/Free Images