DR Congo authorities say they are powerless to combat trade in which poachers demand up to $40,000 an animal
“International experts said they believe the route lies east. Ian Redmond, chairman of the conservation group the Ape Alliance, said: “We think the Middle East is a likely source of demand, wealthy animal collectors and a tradition of giving big gifts to curry favour … and maybe wealthy Russians, but there is little hard evidence.
“What we do know is that just the rumour that someone is looking to buy a baby ape can be enough for penniless hunters to think: ‘I could get one of those and sell it for $$$$!’ And in eastern DRC, once one is captured it is likely to be smuggled eastwards through either Rwanda or Uganda, the traditional trade routes for all goods in that area.”
A report on ape trafficking by Karl Ammann, an investigative film maker, claimed that dozens of gorillas and hundreds and chimpanzees have been taken from Cameroon via Nigeria to Egypt.