Since animals are very similar genetically to humans, they can actually contract influenza, Ebola, and other human diseases. According to British scientists, Covid-19 is no exception. They have studied selfies that tourists have taken with gorillas in game parks in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Congo and have found that not enough distance is maintained. Moreover, tourists do not wear mouth masks when taking a photo with the animals.
“The risk of catching gorillas from wildlife park visitors is of particular concern,” lead researcher at Oxford University Gaspard Van Ham told CNN. “It is imperative that we tighten and enforce the rules to ensure that trips to the areas where the gorillas live do not further endanger these already threatened great apes.”
Enforcement is especially important. It may seem silly to walk around a wildlife park with a mouth mask, but even before the Corona pandemic, this was mandatory for gorilla-seeking tourists. However, practice shows that hardly anyone adheres to this and guides hardly put pressure on tourists to wear masks.
There are only about 1,050 mountain gorillas left in the wild, so the Corona epidemic may miss them like a toothache.
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