When I was in Cameroon I had a chance to see first hand some of the challenges conservationists are currently facing. One of the biggest problems is trying to reintegrate individuals back into the wild to help ensure that wild populations remain vibrant, healthy, and diverse.
At Limbe Wildlife Centre, a conservation sanctuary in South-west Cameroon for orphaned great apes, there are several individuals who could be returned to their homes in the wild, if only conservationists knew their group of origin. Many of these great apes had been snatched from their natal groups as infants, to be trafficked overseas, sold as pets, or used for bushmeat. A smuggler can get up to US $20,000 on the international market, and up to US $100 in the local market in Cameroon. As dire as this situation is, recent research has indicated that genetics may help conservationists reintegrate these individuals
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