5-speed listening (Gold Mining - Level 5)

Congo gold mining threatening endangered species






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Species are being increasingly threatened by human activity. Sadly, hundreds of thousands of creatures are already extinct as the result of humans' increasing demands on Earth's resources. Gold mining in the Okapi Wildlife Reserve in Congo is putting at risk an animal called the okapi. The okapi is also called the forest giraffe because it is a relative of the giraffe. However, its neck is nowhere near as long as that of a giraffe's. It is also known as the zebra giraffe due to its striped hind legs. The okapi is only found in the area of Congo where mining is taking place.

Conservationists have called for a halt to the "rapidly expanding" levels of mining. They asked the government to revoke the mining company's license, to "protect the unique forest ecosystem and the local communities that depend on it". They warned that: "There is almost no wildlife left around the mine itself, and wildlife numbers are massively reduced around mining towns. There have even been cases of armed hunters trafficking okapi skins and elephant ivory in and around the mines." They added that: "If the Congo government acts now, this unique World Heritage Site can still be saved."

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