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Chimps Could Be Extinct
in the Next Few Decades


From Dateline (October 14, 2004)

Q: That’s frightening.

Yes, it gets even worse. Many dis-eases are first identified in chimps. And because we are such close relatives, we can pass diseases back and forth. Chimps have something called SIV – simian immunodeficiency virus – that’s very close to HIV. Chimps and gorillas also are carriers of Ebola. However, chimps have something that allows them to carry SIV without dying. We want to study chimps to see what’s going on because it could help AIDS research with humans.

However, people who eat bushmeat taint-ed by SIV develop HIV. Eating bushmeat worsens the AIDS crisis in Africa.


Q: So what is the solution?

Well, you can look at other areas of Africa and see what they’re doing. In many places tourism has become a profitable business. By protecting the land and animals, people are able to survive. In Kenya, for instance, 37 percent of the country’s income is derived from tourism. Uganda and Rwanda have programs to help people see mountain gorillas. And in Tanzania, there are tours so people see the beauty of the rainforest – and chimps!

In many parts of Africa there also has to be more attention on protecting national parks and reserves. Protecting these areas simply isn’t a priority for many nations. Until it becomes a priority, hunting will continue in the parks.

Of course, the bigger problem is develop-ing an appreciation of conservation. But as we witness global warming, continued deforestation and the extinction of plants and animals – many of whom may carry the keys to helping us prevent or cure disease – we will continue to see species threatened.



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Q&A with Rosen

• Norm Rosen

• What have you found out during your travels and study?

• Based on this information, it looks like chimps could face extinction?

• Why has this reached crisis levels?

• What happens to the social structure of chimp groups when one is killed?

A chimp sanctuary? How many are there?

• That's frightening?

• So what is the solution?






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