Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa? Mountain gorillas are listed as an endangered species and a critically endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Mountain gorillas were thought to be on the verge of extinction in the nineteenth century, and these fascinating animals may now be found only in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. This is the Albertine Rift and the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.

Poachers were responsible for the majority of gorilla deaths and the decline in mountain gorilla populations. Poachers have been the major threat to mountain gorillas since the early nineteenth century. Mountain gorillas are closely related to humans and share up to 99 percent of our DNA.

Dian Fossey, a well-known female primatologist, pushed for the protection of mountain gorillas, which is said to have been the probable cause of her killing from enraged poachers in 1985, when her corpse was discovered lifeless with a blade in the skull. Her mausoleum is located in the Volcanoes National Park and may be visited on a Dian Fossey tomb trek for which a permit at 75 USD is required.

Her actions contributed significantly to the protection of mountain gorillas in the area, and their numbers have subsequently increased. The following are some of the reasons why poachers targeted mountain gorillas and other wild animals.

Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa?
Gorilla Trekking in Volcanoes Park

Poachers murdered mountain gorillas for bush meat consumption, which was one of the most popular reasons for poaching these animals. Mountain gorillas live in wooded areas, and rebel groups or individuals seeking shelter often share this territory with them. They hunted them as a survival skill, mostly in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Gorillas are being poached for their Bush Meat.

Mountain gorillas were also poached and murdered for bush meat; their meat was sold on illegal markets at a higher price. They said that gorilla flesh was more delectable, which explains the great demand for it. Selling gorilla flesh was also a good source of cash since it was so expensive that everyone wanted a piece of it, Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa?

Traditional Beliefs & Superstitions.

Mountain gorillas were also targeted by poachers because of traditional beliefs about their bodily parts. Traditional healers and charmers frequently demanded that their acts be performed on the head, hands, or feet, especially for people seeking power and strength in comparison to the strength of mountain gorillas.

One adult mountain gorilla would require around six adult men to wrestle it down, and with this pressure, the mountain gorillas became a target. This was frequently heard in the mountain gorillas’ Ugandan habitats.

Pets The privileged and rich in society allowed poachers to steal mountain gorillas and cage them for use as pets in their homes, zoos, and even research facilities. The mountain gorilla cannot survive in captivity for long, and as a result, they die much sooner than expected.

Poachers were later paid with significant quantities of money, which enticed more of people to join the enterprise.


There have also been occasional unintentional mountain gorilla homicides, in which a mountain gorilla became entangled in a snare placed for another animal and, if not discovered quickly enough or left severely damaged, died.

Some gorillas were also killed in the area’s conflicts, while stray gunfire from the fights took some lives. This was widespread in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa?.

Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa?
Virunga Gorilla Tours


Some poachers killed mountain gorillas because they considered them as a danger, were competing with them in the region, and needed to keep safe. Mountain gorillas would occasionally travel to locations closer to human settlements, when they would meet their end, Why Are Gorillas Being Poached in Africa?.

However, conservation of mountain gorillas has been emphasized, and harsh penalties are imposed on those found guilty of the act, which has resulted in the mountain gorilla population increasing, and they were recently upgraded from critically endangered to endangered, with over 1,000 gorillas remaining in the world. You may also help to save the mountain gorillas by booking a mountain gorilla permit on your Rwanda safari tour; a portion of the money you pay goes back towards conservation efforts in the region.

book a gorilla trip