The danger with commercial hunting for markets is that when the large mammals (including gorillas) are gone from one area, the commercial hunters simply move on to the next. In the end, only the most remote and difficult to access populations of large mammals will survive unless improved law enforcement, better education and alternative livelihoods are provided.
HUNTING FOR TRADITIONAL AFRICAN MEDICINE (TAM) Being such a powerful animal, there are many superstitious beliefs surrounding the gorilla. Various bits of gorilla anat- omy, such as fingers, fur and testicles are used to cure ail- ments, give strength to a sickly child or increase the power of a chief or leader. There is an overlap in purpose here with those who use gorilla-based TAM and those who are culturally obliged to give their son gorilla meat so he grows strong, or
serve gorilla meat to visiting VIP guests, because the meat itself is believed to have properties beyond its food value. In areas where gorillas are hunted for Bushmeat, it seems like- ly that body-parts for non-food TAM are a by-product. But if no such parts are available, such as in Rwanda where gorilla meat is not consumed, there have been cases where gorillas have been killed and only a few small body parts have been removed from the body (Fossey, 1984).
PROBLEM ANIMAL CONTROL
In a few areas gorillas number among the species considered as crop pests. Banana plantations are particularly vulnerable – though gorillas seldom eat the banana fruits. Instead, they tear apart the whole plant and eat the nutritious pith. Unsurprising- ly, this does not endear them to farmers, and if a farmer has ac-