6 Aug 2008

Number of great apes doubled in new survey

5:45 pm on 6 August 2008

Gorillas have survived in the northern part of the Republic of Congo. Environmentalists say they can double population estimates as a result.

The WIldlife Conservation Society says a new census tallied more than 125,000 western lowland gorillas in an area of 47,000 square kilometres.

Estimates from the 1980s had suggested that fewer than 100,000 great apes had survived and many experts believed these numbers had been cut nearly in half by disease and hunting.

Western lowland gorillas are classified as "critically endangered" by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.