I think that this is subject of different World, from the world of ethical hunters.Just curiosity on my part.
I thought gorillas and chimps existed in more and larger areas than these maps illustrate.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:
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That is very interesting information. Thanks for sharing.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.