Target: Paul Biya, President of the Republic of Cameroon
Goal: Protect Cameroon’s great apes from body part trafficking by implementing harsher penalties for traffickers and poachers.
Body part trafficking is one of the latest obstacles in the fight to save the world’s great apes from extinction. Despite promising increases in populations in recent years, a sudden uptick in the demand for great ape body parts is threatening multiple great ape species. The demand is fueled by the body parts’ supposed medicinal value in some African and Asian cultures as well as their value to trophy hunters in the western world.
Once believed to be an uncommon practice, great ape body part trafficking is booming, particularly in Western Africa where most great ape populations are found. While it is hard for wildlife protection agencies to gauge the exact number of apes being poached, it is clear that the trafficking is thriving. In Cameroon alone, over 200 ape skulls were seized from traffickers over the course of two years.
Left unchecked, the combined threat of poaching, trafficking, and habitat loss could wipe great apes off the face of the earth within our lifetime. Ask that the President of Cameroon do his part to prevent the loss of precious great ape species by imposing stricter enforcement of anti-poaching policies and harsher penalties for perpetrators.
Dear President Biya,
The world’s great apes are in grave danger, and Cameroon has the potential to help them. The trafficking of great ape body parts in Western Africa, particularly Cameroon, is the latest trend posing a serious threat to great ape populations.
More needs to be done to protect these precious animals from extinction. Please do your part to take a stance against great ape body part trafficking by implementing harsher penalties for illegal poachers and traffickers.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Heather Thorkelson