Outrage over plan to cull intelligent gorillas due to overcrowding in zoos  

WION Web Team
London Published: Nov 29, 2021, 02:46 PM(IST)

Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) seems to have been considering a cull of intelligent gorillas (representative image). Photograph:( Reuters )

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Outrage seems to be growing as the Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) has been considering a cull of intelligent gorillas, citing the high number of the animals in zoos across Europe. Campaigners, who say they should be returned to the wild, have slammed this plan to solve zoo overcrowding

Outrage seems to be growing as the Association of Zoos and Aquaria (Eaza) has been considering a cull of intelligent gorillas, citing the high number of the animals in zoos across Europe. 

Campaigners, who say they should be returned to the wild, have slammed this plan to solve zoo overcrowding.    

Across its 69 locations, Eaza seems to be responsible for 463 great apes. The association says it is looking for solutions to reduce the number of critically-endangered western lowland gorillas as there is overpopulation in its facilities.  

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A western lowland gorilla logged an IQ score between 70 and 90, which isn't far off the 85 to 115 usually logged by humans.  

Apart from culling, it is also considering castrating and housing adult males in isolation. These methods are currently in use.  

According to a gorilla action plan, which is being told to shareholders, culling is the "most appropriate tool" in biological terms.  

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“The main downside of this option is that it is controversial in many countries and in some illegal, in specific circumstances. Any discussion on culling can quickly become an emotional one because it is easy to empathise with gorillas. This carries a high risk that an emotional response by the public and/or zoo staff and keepers, catalysed by social media, inflicts damage to zoos and aquariums,” the document said.  

(With inputs from agencies)

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