Corona Virus and Mountain Gorillas-

Could Tourists be a Corona Virus threat to Endangered Mountain Gorillas?

Mountains gorillas are some of the world’s most endangered species and any negligence is likely to cause devastating effects that will be regrettable yet can be fore gone if precautions are taken in such sensitive times.

A few years ago, a research was conducted by Oxford Brookes University regarding the threat tourists pose to the health of the mountain gorillas. Luckily these results were published in the; “Journal of the Primate Conservation” which can by publically accessed by anyone interested.

The whole Journal is not about mountain gorillas, but there is a section that does address the likelihood of tourists infecting mountain gorillas with air borne diseases such as flu or cough. Highlighting a case study in Rwanda over 10 years ago where two mountain gorillas might have died of air borne diseases that might have been caused by a tourist from South Africa.

Corona Virus and Mountain Gorillas

Though there is a seven meter rule for the tourists to observe when in proximity to the mountain gorillas, the same rule does not apply to mountain gorillas since no one can stop them from touching the people that visit their habitation. Thus posing a serious question, how safe are the mountain gorillas when they get in contact with people who have not gone through any medical check up to do the mountain gorilla trekking?

That question raised and left a side, another concern must also be looked into, why is it that up to now, the suggested face masks have not yet been adopted by Uganda wildlife Authority. Have they looked into the likelihood or the damage that might result from one mountain gorilla getting infected with an air borne disease!

Of course there must be arguments of how it has happened before, they have recovered but the challenge is today we are looking at Corona Virus and mountain gorillas; implying that if by any chance anyone having this virus gets in touch with the animals, they might be gone for good.

Of course we have checks up at the airport, tourists are not likely to be infectious but what about the porters who no one ever gets to give a check up! We have no idea which people they get in touch with and how much of a threat they might be unless precautions have been put in place.

Uganda wildlife Authority

Up to today, Uganda wildlife has not communicated any measures they have put in place to ensure that the animals are preserved. We often have birds coming from all over the world migrating to Uganda, and we also know how some Ugandans enjoy wild fruits which the birds also feast on. There has not been any serious communication made in regard to animals that have a very close DNA to that of humans because they are likely to equally suffer from the same virus.

Though Uganda wildlife cannot control the spread of this virus, but they can put up measures that will ensure that the causes are reduced.

Self Drive Tourists

Tourists are not the only threat to mountain gorillas in this time but also the guides, rangers and porters who up date have no stated precaution measures to go through before proceeding to the park.


Research has already proved that some tourists have actually succeeded to have their gorilla treks even in questionable health states. With such a background, the health of mountain gorilla in regard to air borne disease threats is still questionable since there are no measures that have so far been undertaken to ensure that the health of mountain gorillas is upheld even in trying moments like this.