Stop the Carnage

A pistol-packing American scientist puts his life on the line to reduce "the most serious threat to African wildlife"--the illegal hunting of animals for food--and to STOP THE CARNAGE

Illegal hunting of wildlife for food is devastating wildlife across sub-Saharan Africa. SMITHSONIAN sent Australia-based writer Paul Raffaele to look into the problem, and report on the efforts of an American wildlife specialist to curb the killing. David Greer runs anti-poaching patrols in a Central African Republic park, risking his life virtually every day to protect some of Africa's most significant animals, including western lowland gorillas and forest elephants. He is based in the Dzanga-Sangha Dense Forest Special Reserve, home to one of the richest and most diverse assemblies of animals, birds, fish and insects on earth.

In the Congo Basin alone, Raffaele reports, up to five million metric tons of bushmeat are traded each year. Another threat to wildlife is infectious agents, including the deadly Ebola virus, which has stricken primates in central Africa. Some experts say that Ebola-contaminated bushmeat smuggled into the United States could trigger an Ebola outbreak here. "It's a crisis situation," one wildlife advocate says, "and that's why the anti-poaching program is vitally important."

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