Life Goes On A Gorilla Hunt

NamStay

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LIFE magazine November 19, 1951

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The practise funded by ZOO?
10.000 USD in 1950, would equal to 106.969 USD in todays money. No wonder they trigerred such practise.
 
Thank you, NamStay!
I have this Article in my files - it caused an public uproar, even in 1951...
And "Gorilla Hunter" Bill Said died a few years later (in 1954) in an car accident in Leopoldville/Congo.
Bobo, the gorilla-baby in this Article, lived for years in the Seattle Zoo and became a big silverback.

By the way: This wasn't the only gorilla-hunting/capturing expedition in grand style... Wildlife-Filmmaker and writer Armand Denis tried to capture young gorillas in the French Congo in the 1930s-1940s - many gorilla families were killed and finally Denis got 40 gorilla babies. Every single one died from diseases in a few weeks. And gorillas were "strictly protected" since 1933...

50648907.jpg
50648919.jpg
 
NamStay,
Good posts. As a reminder that it only takes a few that call themselves hunters out for a quick buck demonstrating poor ethics/ morals to ruin things for true ethical hunters.

I don't intend to high jack your thread, but add to it with the questions why dont "we" hear about chimpanzees and gorillas, like "we" do about baboons and monkeys damaging homes, lodges, etc.

We, that is all of us here on AH, talk about all types of hunts, share all types of photos. Yet nothing about gorillas or chimpanzees past or present.

Does Africa still have gorillas and chimps? If so,:

What are their status?
What are their populations?
Where are their primarily located/ranges?
Are there human-gorilla/ chimpanzees conflicts, as we hear about and/or see with the more prominent DG animals, baboons, and various monkey species?

Just curiosity on my part.
 
Just curiosity on my part.

I think that this is subject of different World, from the world of ethical hunters.
Thats why, not much is written here on the forum about the subject.

It is the World of smuglers, poachers, and "rich pet collectors", completely different theater:

 
I'm more interested in discovering why of all the photo safaris people go on, in all the various African countries, there is always the common theme of the dangerous 7 and the various plains game.

There are all kinds of deterrents to discourage baboons and monkeys from creating havoc to lodges and homes.

Yet we dont see current photos and/or stories of gorillas and chimpanzees.

Aren't gorillas and chimps as much a part of Africa as all the other animals?

After all Tarzan's other side kick was Cheetah, the chimp. (gif) of Cheetah)
 
it is easy to make photo safari of big 5. Just go to South africa, or namiba. Sit back in 4wd, and they will drive you to them. The worst part is jet leg, and long fligt. The rest is well beaten path, served on silver plate.

On the other hand, try getting to central african rain forest, for photo safari, from uganda, to car, cameoroun, where gorrilas and chims live, etc. quite different itinerary, and I suspect much more expensive, and more inconvenient (for full service - add mosquitos, malaria, and political instability in the region).
So, much less people go there.

See where these apes live:
Chimps.png
Eastern_Gorilla_area.png
 
it is easy to make photo safari of big 5. Just go to South africa, or namiba. Sit back in 4wd, and they will drive you to them. The worst part is jet leg, and long fligt. The rest is well beaten path, served on silver plate.

On the other hand, try getting to central african rain forest, for photo safari, from uganda, to car, cameoroun, where gorrilas and chims live, etc. quite different itinerary, and I suspect much more expensive, and more inconvenient (for full service - add mosquitos, malaria, and political instability in the region).
So, much less people go there.

See where these apes live:
View attachment 360240View attachment 360241

I thought gorillas and chimps existed in more and larger areas than these maps illustrate.
 
Hello RidgeRunner!

Gorillas and chimpanzees were strictly protected species since 1933. Yet, as this LIFE-Article shows, the demand for zoos and museums were high.
In fact, a sport hunter / collector was able to shoot a gorilla if he could proof that the trophy was shot for "scientific purposes". Several names of hunters come to my mind who shot a gorilla or chimp long after they were protected species. All you needed was a special permit - very hard to get and very expensive, but possible. I have an ad from an hunting magazine that offered gorilla hunts in Gabon in 1977!

Gorilla charges can be very frightening - the big silverback males let you come very close and suddenly charge with loud screams and roars. But 90 % of thes attacks are mock charges, if you stand your ground and can resist running away, not much will happen, except wet underpants. It happened to a friend of mine while bongo hunting in Cameroon.

James Mellon shot a chimpanzee in West Africa and wrote about it in "African Hunter"; PH Tony Sanchez-Arino shot a dozen Gorillas or so in the 1950s - to protect native crops and for museums. On the other hand, a passionate trophy collector like Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran refused to shoot a gorilla in Gabon, although his PH urged him to kill one.
The gorilla countries were alway visited by specialist trophy hunters who wanted a bongo, forest elephant, forest buffalo or duikers. And yes, sometimes a gorilla was shot in "self defense" and the "hunters" kept their mouth shut and smuggled the gorilla skull out of the country. I know a few cases.

It's also true that gorillas in West Central Africa wreak havoc in the natives' plantations. The people take justice in their hands and kill the whole troop. Some Bantu-tribes and the pygmies love gorilla meat and hunt them regularly. If a baby gorilla survives it is sold to animal traders. That's how nearly all of the zoo gorillas up to the 1970s came from.
This practice goes on today (Bush Meat) - ape flesh is most likely the source / transmitter of diseases like Aids and Ebola.
But the populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo/Brazzaville and Gabon seems to be higher than expected - approx. 150.000 gorillas in this region; the chimp population is higher because they also occur in western Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia, etc.). In Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, on the other hand, great apes are now very rare.

I have a huge gorilla hunting collection if you are interested i could send you more infos.

Best regards:
Kouprey
 
@Kouprey
I am always impressed by your level of knowledge and African history!
Thanks for input!
 
Hello RidgeRunner!

Gorillas and chimpanzees were strictly protected species since 1933. Yet, as this LIFE-Article shows, the demand for zoos and museums were high.
In fact, a sport hunter / collector was able to shoot a gorilla if he could proof that the trophy was shot for "scientific purposes". Several names of hunters come to my mind who shot a gorilla or chimp long after they were protected species. All you needed was a special permit - very hard to get and very expensive, but possible. I have an ad from an hunting magazine that offered gorilla hunts in Gabon in 1977!

Gorilla charges can be very frightening - the big silverback males let you come very close and suddenly charge with loud screams and roars. But 90 % of thes attacks are mock charges, if you stand your ground and can resist running away, not much will happen, except wet underpants. It happened to a friend of mine while bongo hunting in Cameroon.

James Mellon shot a chimpanzee in West Africa and wrote about it in "African Hunter"; PH Tony Sanchez-Arino shot a dozen Gorillas or so in the 1950s - to protect native crops and for museums. On the other hand, a passionate trophy collector like Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran refused to shoot a gorilla in Gabon, although his PH urged him to kill one.
The gorilla countries were alway visited by specialist trophy hunters who wanted a bongo, forest elephant, forest buffalo or duikers. And yes, sometimes a gorilla was shot in "self defense" and the "hunters" kept their mouth shut and smuggled the gorilla skull out of the country. I know a few cases.

It's also true that gorillas in West Central Africa wreak havoc in the natives' plantations. The people take justice in their hands and kill the whole troop. Some Bantu-tribes and the pygmies love gorilla meat and hunt them regularly. If a baby gorilla survives it is sold to animal traders. That's how nearly all of the zoo gorillas up to the 1970s came from.
This practice goes on today (Bush Meat) - ape flesh is most likely the source / transmitter of diseases like Aids and Ebola.
But the populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo/Brazzaville and Gabon seems to be higher than expected - approx. 150.000 gorillas in this region; the chimp population is higher because they also occur in western Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia, etc.). In Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, on the other hand, great apes are now very rare.

I have a huge gorilla hunting collection if you are interested i could send you more infos.

Best regards:
Kouprey

That is very interesting information. Thanks for sharing.

I don't have any intentions to hunt gorillas or chimpanzees. I just thought of the interest, I and others may have, just to be able to see such primates in the wild, just as much as seeing/watching the DG and typical PG animals.

Kinda like watching the monkeys in Panama imitating/mimicking military jungle patrols, sending out scouts and flankers prior to crossing trails, and via second, third, fourth, hand accounts,.....leave no baby behind....

that squelling wasn't laughter, it was a call for help. The soldier did recover from his injuries and had an instant respect for the monkeys.

And the immortal words of the instructors, "......Don't Fuck with the Monkeys.....watch where you sit the (army) ants will eat you alive......there are trees with extremely large and sharp thorns, avoid them.....". Nm
 
Here's a couple of old advertisements from 1906 regarding Wildlife Merchants.

Regards
Rob

Wrights Trading Menagerie Advertisement 1906.png
Cross, Wild Beast, Bird & Reptile Merchant Advertisement 1906.png
 
Hello RidgeRunner!

Gorillas and chimpanzees were strictly protected species since 1933. Yet, as this LIFE-Article shows, the demand for zoos and museums were high.
In fact, a sport hunter / collector was able to shoot a gorilla if he could proof that the trophy was shot for "scientific purposes". Several names of hunters come to my mind who shot a gorilla or chimp long after they were protected species. All you needed was a special permit - very hard to get and very expensive, but possible. I have an ad from an hunting magazine that offered gorilla hunts in Gabon in 1977!

Gorilla charges can be very frightening - the big silverback males let you come very close and suddenly charge with loud screams and roars. But 90 % of thes attacks are mock charges, if you stand your ground and can resist running away, not much will happen, except wet underpants. It happened to a friend of mine while bongo hunting in Cameroon.

James Mellon shot a chimpanzee in West Africa and wrote about it in "African Hunter"; PH Tony Sanchez-Arino shot a dozen Gorillas or so in the 1950s - to protect native crops and for museums. On the other hand, a passionate trophy collector like Prince Abdorreza Pahlavi of Iran refused to shoot a gorilla in Gabon, although his PH urged him to kill one.
The gorilla countries were alway visited by specialist trophy hunters who wanted a bongo, forest elephant, forest buffalo or duikers. And yes, sometimes a gorilla was shot in "self defense" and the "hunters" kept their mouth shut and smuggled the gorilla skull out of the country. I know a few cases.

It's also true that gorillas in West Central Africa wreak havoc in the natives' plantations. The people take justice in their hands and kill the whole troop. Some Bantu-tribes and the pygmies love gorilla meat and hunt them regularly. If a baby gorilla survives it is sold to animal traders. That's how nearly all of the zoo gorillas up to the 1970s came from.
This practice goes on today (Bush Meat) - ape flesh is most likely the source / transmitter of diseases like Aids and Ebola.
But the populations of western lowland gorillas in Congo/Brazzaville and Gabon seems to be higher than expected - approx. 150.000 gorillas in this region; the chimp population is higher because they also occur in western Africa (Ivory Coast, Liberia, etc.). In Equatorial Guinea and Nigeria, on the other hand, great apes are now very rare.

I have a huge gorilla hunting collection if you are interested i could send you more infos.

Best regards:
Kouprey

Great info. Thanks for posting!

There was an advertisement in the 1960s of a trophy hunter and a male gorilla he had taken. It was posted on an other forum a couple of years ago.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
The practise funded by ZOO?
10.000 USD in 1950, would equal to 106.969 USD in todays money. No wonder they trigerred such practise.
Thank you, NamStay!
I have this Article in my files - it caused an public uproar, even in 1951...
And "Gorilla Hunter" Bill Said died a few years later (in 1954) in an car accident in Leopoldville/Congo.
Bobo, the gorilla-baby in this Article, lived for years in the Seattle Zoo and became a big silverback.

By the way: This wasn't the only gorilla-hunting/capturing expedition in grand style... Wildlife-Filmmaker and writer Armand Denis tried to capture young gorillas in the French Congo in the 1930s-1940s - many gorilla families were killed and finally Denis got 40 gorilla babies. Every single one died from diseases in a few weeks. And gorillas were "strictly protected" since 1933...

View attachment 359987View attachment 359988


To me, these procurement expeditions funded by zoos and museums are far worse, than a trophy hunter taking a lone, adult male.
 
Great info. Thanks for posting!

There was an advertisement in the 1960s of a trophy hunter and a male gorilla he had taken. It was posted on an other forum a couple of years ago.
You are absolutely correct.
This ad featured in several gun magazines. The hunter was Frank Delano and the Gorilla was shot in Gabon for a Museum in Los Angeles. The story of this hunt is in the August 1963 Issue of "Sports Afield".

ruger_gorilla.jpg
 
To me, these procurement expeditions funded by zoos and museums are far worse, than a trophy hunter taking a lone, adult male.
That's very true. I suppose that over the years hundreds of African Apes died in organized tribal hunts to provide zoos with baby-gorillas or chimpanzees. The natives took the meat, the hides and skeletons were delivered to museums. Some tribes have always been gorilla hunters, to some others they were absolutely taboo.
In the then Belgian Congo the Government organized a big Gorilla Hunt in 1944. They shot more than 40 Gorillas to capture 6 young ones. All of them died by parasites or stress.
The filmmaker Armand Denis was responsible for the same thing in the French Congo. The story is in his book "On Safari".
 

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