Nigeria Values Safety of Gorillas Over New Superhighway

Nigeria Values Safety of Gorillas Over New Superhighway

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Thanks to intensive pressure from conservation groups, Nigerian officials have agreed to reroute the construction of a superhighway to spare the habitat of the highly endangered Cross River gorilla.

The originally proposed route for the 160-mile highway included a 6-mile wide buffer on each side of the road, which would have destroyed thousands of acres of rainforest and wildlife habitat that is home to pangolins, chimpanzees, elephants, and gorillas.

After creating a petition that accumulated over 135,000 signatures, however, the Wildlife Conservation Society managed to convince state and federal Nigerian officials that the superhighway would dramatically affect the gorilla populations of the Cross River area.

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The new proposed route has dropped the highway’s buffer and moved closer to the western coast.

“At a recent meeting in Calabar, with our Director of Cross River Landscape Inaoyom Imong present, the Cross River State government verbally agreed to reroute the superhighway away from the Ekuri community forest,” said a WCS representative. “Combined with dropping the 12-mile (20-kilometer) buffer, this reroute shows significant progress. It means our voices are being heard.”

If you would like to thank Nigerian officials for their decision to reroute the highway – and to make sure that they follow-up on their promise – click here to send them your message.

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(Photo by Wildlife Conservation Society)

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