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DR Congo | Gorilla sanctuaries on alert as ebola virus again strikes region; can devastate apes

Ebola is once again sweeping Africa, this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), where a new outbreak was announced Aug. 1. As of Sept. 30, the World Health Organization has tallied 161 human cases and 105 deaths.

Ebola can threaten non-human great apes as well, and the DRC is home to endangered Grauer’s gorilla, bonobo and chimpanzee populations. “When (Ebola) gets into a gorilla population, it can be devastating,” says Sonya Kahlenberg, executive director of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (GRACE) in the eastern DRC.

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