Eastern lowland gorillas are close cousins of the mountain gorilla and are found only in the lowland rainforests of eastern DRC. Despite being completely protected by national laws and international conventions, they have experienced a serious decline in the last two decades and are consequently listed as critically endangered. The largest living primate, their global population has plunged from an estimated 17,000 individuals to fewer than 6,000 today and they continue to experience a rate of decline of 5% per year. The decimation of the eastern lowland gorilla population is due mainly to illegal hunting for bushmeat associated with artisanal mining camps. Young infants are also taken for commercial trade.
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