Congo – Poaching

music: Mbuti honey song–>


It’s a land of dense rainforest, wide open savannahs, active volcanoes, and magnificent waterfalls. And there are animals here that are found nowhere else on earth. But for the animals and humans, this paradise has become imperiled. I’m Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. We’re talking about the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, a country in central Africa that’s as large as the eastern half of the United States.

“In terms of the diversity of plants and animals on the earth, the Congo is definitely one of the top countries on the globe.”

For the past twenty years, John and Terese Hart, a husband-and-wife team, have ]worked and lived amongst the people and animals of central Africa.

“There are a number of species here found nowhere else, including some of the most spectacular species.”

One species of ape, the bonobo, lives only in this part of the world, as does a rainforest giraffe called the okapi. But the creatures of the rainforest are now at risk, due to a civil war that has brought arms and anarchy into the region. Poachers are killing elephants for ivory and rhinoceros for horn. Terese Hart says that, increasingly, many animals, including apes, are being killed for food.

“Within the eastern Congo, a lot of the increase in poaching is not local people, a lot of the increase in poaching has to do with the military activity, displaced people and mining. They’re feeding armies, they’re feeding mining camps, which are illegal mining camps within the forest.”

The Harts and others have been working with local chiefs and government and rebel representatives to try to curb the poaching. We’ll hear more about life in the rainforest of central Africa in our next program. Please visit our website at nationalgeographic.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

Congo - Poaching

The Ituri rainforest of central Africa is home to animals that live nowhere else on the planet. But political strife is putting these creatures at risk.
Air Date:10/16/2000
Scientist:
Transcript:

music: Mbuti honey song-->


It's a land of dense rainforest, wide open savannahs, active volcanoes, and magnificent waterfalls. And there are animals here that are found nowhere else on earth. But for the animals and humans, this paradise has become imperiled. I'm Jim Metzner and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by DuPont. We're talking about the Democratic Republic of Congo, formerly Zaire, a country in central Africa that's as large as the eastern half of the United States.

"In terms of the diversity of plants and animals on the earth, the Congo is definitely one of the top countries on the globe."

For the past twenty years, John and Terese Hart, a husband-and-wife team, have ]worked and lived amongst the people and animals of central Africa.

"There are a number of species here found nowhere else, including some of the most spectacular species."

One species of ape, the bonobo, lives only in this part of the world, as does a rainforest giraffe called the okapi. But the creatures of the rainforest are now at risk, due to a civil war that has brought arms and anarchy into the region. Poachers are killing elephants for ivory and rhinoceros for horn. Terese Hart says that, increasingly, many animals, including apes, are being killed for food.

"Within the eastern Congo, a lot of the increase in poaching is not local people, a lot of the increase in poaching has to do with the military activity, displaced people and mining. They're feeding armies, they're feeding mining camps, which are illegal mining camps within the forest."

The Harts and others have been working with local chiefs and government and rebel representatives to try to curb the poaching. We'll hear more about life in the rainforest of central Africa in our next program. Please visit our website at nationalgeographic.com. Pulse of the Planet is presented by DuPont, bringing you the miracles of science, with additional support provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.