Saturday, September 22, 2007
Saving the Gentle Giants of Africa
I've always thought there was something terribly wrong about the way we call bad violent people and political monsters "gorillas." When the real ones are so gentle.
And so vulnerable.
Great apes laugh when they are tickled and cry when they grieve; they think about their past and plan for the future. But that future seems to be a long road to extinction.
The poachers kill them for meat.
Powerful commercial interests conspire to try to turn the Congo forest where most of them live into charcoal.
Ebola has hit them hard.
Now their home has been invaded by rebel soldiers.
The same rebels who killed these gorillas...
Just to scare away their protectors.... as they now have.
It's sickening and depressing. As one scientist said.
"In the future, people are going to remember this as a period when we knew our closest relatives were being wiped out and did nothing,"
So I was glad to see all those people in gorilla suits running through the streets of London today....
To try to help the real ones.
I thought some of the costumes were pretty funny.
And I liked this one a lot.
I wonder why?
But my favourite British gorilla these days is this one....
If only life was so sweet...
I hope that one day we won't have to dress up as gorillas to try to imagine what the real ones looked like.
But if we can't even save the women and children of Darfur.
What chance do the gentle giants have?