Recently on TV: a two-and-a-half meter gorilla loomed threateningly in front of a crowd and announced its attack by beating frantically on its chest. The people screeched and squealed, ran in all directions in total panic. The gorilla was long portrayed as a wild, untamable monster – today, we know better: gorillas are gentle giants and peaceful vegetarians. And they are an endangered species. However, aid projects have helped to increase the number of mountain gorillas in the past ten years. But what on earth has Carl Zeiss to do with saving the largest apes on earth?
In the Congolese Virunga National Park, despite protection by gamekeepers and various wildlife organizations, gorillas still fall prey to poachers and rebels who have retreated to this region. Monitoring and surveillance of the huge area involved is a major challenge for the gamekeepers. The appropriate technical equipment can facilitate their work. This is precisely why Carl Zeiss is supporting an aid campaign launched by the renowned wildlife filmmaker Matto Barfuss with powerful binoculars and telescopes. In this way, the provider of high performance optics is playing its role in saving the mountain gorillas from extinction.
Experts estimate that only about 700 mountain gorillas are still alive. The vegetarians can grow to up to 1.75 meters in size and weigh as much as 200 kilos. The endangered species lives in the Virunga National Park in the east of the Congo and in the Bwindi forest in Uganda. They feel at home in mountain forests at heights of between 2000 and 4000 meters above sea level. Only here is it possible to find the subspecies of the Eastern Gorilla. After all, they are not called mountain gorillas for nothing!
June 3, 2008