South Africa, November 18, 2007
A well-traveled western lowland gorilla
sits on a branch in a glassed-in enclosure at the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, two days before returning to Cameroon with three other members of the endangered gorilla species.
Fake documents were used to smuggle the four as babies in 2002 to Malaysia's Taiping Zoo, via South Africa. The four are believed to have been orphaned when their parents were killed for their meat.
In 2004 Malaysia returned the Taiping Four—as they were dubbed—to South Africa, which hesitated to send them on to Cameroon, citing uncertainty about the creatures' origin.
"Africa's wildlife is disappearing from the earth right in front of our eyes," said Christina Pretorius of the International Fund for Animal Welfare, according to the Associated Press.
"The return of the Taiping Four sends a clear message that Africa's wildlife is worth fighting for and that international law must be upheld."
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Photograph by Denis Farrell/AP