Diseases in the wild

As stated in the introduction and our new theory of the viral phenomenon , hundreds to thousands of sick people have been observed cured of their ailment in a short time, from typically a few weeks for viral diseases, to a few months in a case of DMD (Duchenne muscular dystrophy), where a pre-teen child until then locked to its wheelchair, had regenerated his muscular fibers so much that he could run around a table playing ping-pong for the first time in his life.

But although on a lesser number of patients, we also observed similar happenings with animals, mainly farm animals and pets, either recovered or adopting the new diet as the same time as their master.
Like for humans, invariably an adequate wide food range ensured the swift eradication of parasitoses that no other methods (sometimes even resisting chemical treatments) could get rid of. Typically in the form of crawling neatly packed balls of living (or dead) worms, in feces, showing up in feces, most often no more than a mere few days after stopping cooking completely.


A major epidemic of Mycoplasma pneumonia caused the death of approximately 23% of the elephant (Loxodonta africana) population of Lake Manyara National Park in 1977 after a severe drought in 1976 which may have weakened these elephants; the normal mortality between 1966 and 1981 was 3% (Weyerhaeuser 1982).

Effects of environmental displacements

Let us start this study with one species in particular, Gorilla gorilla beringei, or mountain gorillas.
This case study superposes with the issue of teeth decay but this deserves its own analysis. I wish to focus here on diseases instead, so as to demonstrate how the ignorance of aliesthesy and the genetic adaptation to food in a particular environment.
Those lucky gorillas have remarquably low levels of either tooth decays or diseases, despite a rate of inbreeding superior to anything we know in human population, to the point of all mountain gorillas being as closely related as half-siblings (35% homozygosity). Yet it has been proved that it didn’t seem to impact their health.
I claim that for instincto standards they still are very sick, because of

the following pathologies, which demand explanation.

The mountain gorillas of the central Virungas have been the subject of field study for the last 30 years;
However, our understanding of morbidity and mortality in these apes is limited. This paper describes pathological conditions of the skeleton and dentition of these animals and evaluates lesions in relation to behavioral and environmental data. The skeletal remains of 31 mountain gorillas from the Karisoke Research Center were examined for enamel wear, carious lesions, abscesses, periodontal disease, antemortern tooth loss, trauma, inflammation, arthritis, neoplasia, and developmental anomalies. Two infants, three juveniles, 13 adult males, and 13 adult females form the sample.

Six periapical abscesses were seen; three are associated with antemortem tooth breakage.
Much of the abscessing in nonhuman primates can usually be attributed to ante-mortem breakage of the tooth crown, usually the canine tooth, which exposes the pulp cavity to bacteria (Lovell, 1987). Kilgore has similarly suggested that a major contributing factor to the development of abscesses in the Gombe chimpanzees is exposure of the pulp cavity through enamel wear, caused by the chewing and stripping activities of food preparation.
Pronounced calculus buildup and alveolar resorption are the most notable pathological conditions of the dentition and affect all adult animals.

[arthritis and other bone related issues]:
Arthritis occurs in more than half of the adult gorillas (14 animals), with the spine most commonly affected. This condition results primarily from age-related degenerative changes and is not severe enough to have limited movement in any but the oldest animals.
Vertebral degenerative disease predominates, but there is also temporomandibular joint involvement.
Fractures occur at seven locations in the postcranium. In addition, there are five cranial injuries, including a fractured sagittal crest, and a penetrating wound to the vault, which is believed to result from a bite. Also thought to result from a bite is a case of cranial osteomyelitis [bone inflammation]. The only other inflammatory responses are two cases of idiopathic periostitis [inflammation of connective tissues surrounding bones] and one idiopathic [lytic lesion][Destruction of an area of bone due to a disease process].. Button osteomas [aymptomatic non-cancerous bone overgrowth, rather common in humans] affect two animals and are the only neoplastic conditions observed.
Two animals are afflicted by developmental abnormalities: one animal by idiopathic [vertebral fusion] and the other by spinal scoliosis..
Fifteen animals were afflicted with arthritis. Whinny and Congo exhibit erosion, without marginal [lipping][^lipping], at the right temporomandibular joint. Most other cases involve vertebral degenerative joint disease. Thoracic vertebrae are affected by marginal [lipping][^lipping] in two females and one male.
Rafiki shows considerable arthritic change in his spine.
The first through tenth thoracic vertebrae show variable erosion and marginal [lipping][^lipping], at costal facets on both transverse processes and centra, with the right side being affected to a greater degree than the left. In addition, Rafiki’s skeleton exhibits some degenerative change at almost all other synovial joints.
The third lumbar centra displays extensive [lipping][^lipping] on the left anterolatera1 inferior margin. The fourth lumbar vertebra shows extensive erosion and [lipping][^lipping] on the right superior articular facet. The fourth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae are fused at the central margins by osteophyte formation.
The left knee is most noticeably affected: the femur displays considerable destruction and arthritic hypertrophy on the distal articular surface. The tibia is similarly affected on the corresponding proximal surfaces, especially laterally.
The fibular articular facet on the left tibia is enlarged (25 mm in diameter, compared to the unaffected fibular facet on the right tibia, which is only 20 mm in diameter), with extensive marginal [lipping][^lipping] and deformity.
Tsundura 3 has what appears to be the congenital bony ankylosis of the third and fourth thoracic vertebrae at the pedicles and spinous processes (Fig. 5). The centra are unaffected. Rafiki’s spine has extreme lateral curvature of the cervical and upper thoracic vertebrae, with the apex of curvature at C5 (Fig. 6)

Aside from alveolar periostitis, only four gorillas exhibit inflammatory lesions. In one of these animals, Whinny, the right side of the cranium exhibits extensively remodelled osteomyelitis, affecting the temporal and occipital bones (Fig. 31, a condition first described in an autopsy report (Fossey, 1983). While the autopsy results indicate death from advanced pleurisy and pneumonia, as well as peritonitis, no skeletal lesions from these thoracic conditions were observed. Two gorillas exhibit idiopathic [periostitis][^peiostitis].
The adult male Limbo has remodelled periosteal apposition, in the form of cortical striations, on the posterior surface of the distal right radial shaft.
Unfortunately, due to postmortem erosion, the extent of this inflammatory response is unclear. An unnamed juvenile female has more extensive periostitis: the femoral and tibial shafts display diffuse, remodelled cortical striations.
A patch of active, fine-grained periostitis, 33 by 20 mm, is evident on the internal surface of the right iliac blade, above the greater sciatic notch.
A similar but smaller lesion is present on the left ilium.
The fourth case of inflammation is found in the adult male Tsundura 2; a small resorptive lesion is located at the medial distal diaphysis of the fibula, superior to the tibial articulation.
Alveolar resorption in the gorillas is comparatively extreme. Pronounced calculus buildup has been observed in the Gombe chimpanzees (Kilgore,in press) but is rare among other free-ranging chimpanzees.

in Skeletal and Dental Pathology of Free-Ranging Mountain Gorillas (G. b. beringei)

Some other issues are present but rare and difficult to quantify. Overall, from the perspective of a modern conscience those mountain gorillas fare surprisingly well. Yet this amount of tooth loss and over-inflammation (umbrella term for a whole bunch of symptoms) to the point of leaving absces and attacking bones cannot make sense without a sustained metabolic stress caused by a chronic state of dietary imbalance.
Very little fruits
Mountain gorillas’ food pyramids
Gorillas eat small leaves, stems, fruits, bark, and buds, and occasionally small invertebrates like ants, worms, termites, and larvae. The Western Lowland Gorilla subspecies (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) eat the fruits of more than 100 species of trees, 97 of which produce fruits seasonally. About 67 percent of their diet are fruits, 17 percent are leaves, and the rest are seeds, stems, caterpillars, ants, and termites. Sometimes, they enjoy aquatic plants. The other three gorilla subspecies consume much fewer fruit.
The mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) lives in areas of high altitude above sea level, so their habitat lacks fruit trees. Therefore, they consume leaves, stems, and buds of 142 species of plants, representing up to 86 percent of all their diet. Only 2% are fruits [*three kinds of fruits], 3% flowers, and 7% roots and invertebrates.
in https://www.gorillas-world.com/gorilla-feeding/

Viruga moutain gorillas (those eating less than 2% fruits) have neared extinction several times these last three centuries (Cross River mountains are nearly extinct for this reason [^cross]). And along with their numbers, their living space dwindled too and fragmented. Simply put, to get the same amount of calories, Viruga gorillas eat several times more than Western Lowland gorillas which get as much fruits as they want, or close to.

An analysis of chromosomal sequence sharing within individuals (genomic tracts of homozygosity) provided insight into recent ancestry and a measure of parental relatedness. Within mountain and eastern lowland gorilla individuals, chromosomes are typically homozygous over one-third of their length (on average 34.5% and 38.4%, respectively) (Fig. 2B), much higher than in western lowland individuals (13.8%) and exceeding even the most inbred human populations (18). We observed longer tracts in the eastern species, particularly in mountain gorillas, and a clear distinction in tract length distribution between eastern lowland and mountain gorillas (fig. S15) (15). Very long tracts (2.5 to 10 Mb) are particularly indicative of recent inbreeding, and homozygosity on this scale in mountain gorillas exceeds not only that in other gorilla populations but also that observed in the Altai Neandertal (19), consistent with parental relatedness equivalent to that between two half-siblings (19). These data suggest that mountain gorillas may have experienced several recent generations of close inbreeding.

As judged from the date when inferred Ne began to differ, the divergence of eastern and western gorillas began at least 150,000 years ago, but a more direct analysis using male X-chromosomal sequences suggests that they exchanged genetic material until around 20,000 years ago (Fig. 3B) (15). Given that this also coincides with a notable decline in western lowland gorilla Ne (Fig. 3A), it may be that environmental changes during the Last Glacial Maximum (26,000 to 19,000 years ago), when dry savannah replaced tropical forest over much of the Congo basin (21), triggered a collapse in the western population and complete separation of the two species.

Researching for calories intake would be tedious (and too variable) so I'll keep with food weight instead: in our experience men normally eat (at most) between 1.7 and 2kg per day. Let us take a weight of 55kg (mine). It makes between 1.8-3% of my body weight. > Years of civil unrest in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have taken their toll on both the eastern lowland gorilla and the mountain gorilla. The eastern lowland gorilla makes its home in lowland tropical rainforests in the eastern DRC. In the last 50 years, its range has decreased from 8,100 square miles—about the size of the state of Massachusetts— to about 4,600 square miles today. This subspecies may now occupy only 13% of its historical range. There were nearly 17,000 eastern lowland gorillas in the mid-1990s but scientists estimate that the population has declined by more than 50% since then. An accurate accounting of the animals has been impossible for many years because of violence in the region. Mountain gorillas (males) on a 15%-fruits diet eat on average 18.8kg[^study-bwindi](I wonder how they managed to assess that though !) and weight on average [163 kg](https://www.twendeexpeditions.com/who-else-wants-to-know-much-a-gorilla-weighs/)(those figures come from the wild since they do not survive in zoos.). Which means a rather robust estimate of 11% of body weight ([up to 17% considering an upper limit of 190kg](https://www.wildgorillasafaris.com/facts-about-gorilla-facts/how-much-does-a-gorilla-eat-per-day/)), proportionally three times our quantity. Which *makes sense considering* they have no more than five fruits in their whole environment, *and never at the same time*, while it's about the amount we have *in the fridge in any given week*. I can not find the ration of Western gorilla in nature, but they weight substancially less (146 kg in the wild and 157 kg in [captivity](https://gorillafacts.org/how-much-does-a-gorilla-weigh/). Males in *captivity* however, are noted to be capable of reaching weights up to 275 kg[^wiki] and 310 kg[^african_gorilla]. We find statements claiming mountain gorillas in the wild eat more than their frugivorous counterparts yet it doesn't appear to hold true for *captive* western gorillas, which are reported to eat the same amount per day: 18 kg ! 12% of their weight per day is absolutely unjustifiable given a mostly frugivorous diet. Hence I think Western gorillas eat two or three time more than they should. And to make it clear: natural apes can never be *assumed beforehand, only verified*. Reserves and natural parks are lightly to heavily managed and the impact this fact has on animals' health depends on whether or not they feed them, information typically not mentioned.
In some cases we do know, and it does nothing to reduce our suspicions for the general case, because fact is no one gives a damn.
Whilst they are inside we shut them in so that we can have access to the exterior cages to add fresh straw or do maintenance etc. We also give them their first feed or breakfast which we put on the roof of the cage “making” the gorillas work for their breakfast and spreading it out so that everyone gets a fair share. As wild gorillas naturally spend most of the day foraging we give the second feed as another scatter feed, which usually consists of nuts, a specially formulated pellet (which looks a bit like “Cheerios”) and small or chopped items of fruit. We would normally distribute this in the gardens to encourage them out into the open at 12 O’clock.```
I believe true nature has become rare even in Africa, let alone Europe and Asia (more heavily cultivated and populated regions, for a longer time as well), explaining both the prevalence of parasitism and unadaptative behaviors as both indicate a poor constitutive health caused by impoverished habitats. It ensues that no study in ethology (science of animal behavior) or even biology when it comes to parasites and viruses can be trusted anymore, for almost no one take into consideration the impact of a poor food range (nor often has any idea what the animal's **original** environment should be !), the stress level and physiological that it caused. It seems that zoos still give them a lot of vegetables so counting calories is not possible, but their wide variation in body weight along with the horrible preparations primates are given in zoos, should convince the reader that concluding anything whatsoever about nature and diseases is proof of either malevolence or total idiocy:
Diets offered to juvenile gorillas would follow the same general category proportions (50% produce – 15% fruit, 35% vegetable for increased palatability when introducing solid foods), 25% green leafy produce and/or browse, approximately 18% highfiber primate biscuit, 2% cereal grains, nuts or seeds, and up to 5% animal-based products including milk. Total amounts offered to young gorillas can be increased to approximately 6.5% of total body mass (as-fed basis).

In all cases, green plant materials and/or highfiber biscuits can be fed in relative excess, but other items should be limitfed. A minimum of about 20% of the diet should comprise nutritionally balanced primate diet(s), with possible substitutions/variety provided throughout the week in other food categories.

A total of 37 zoos responded to food frequency questionnaires. The diet varied considerably from zoo to zoo, with over 115 distinctive food items fed regularly, occasionally, seasonally, or as a treat. Ten of the zoos (27%) offered between 11 and 15 different food items daily; 10 (27%) offered between 16 to 20 items daily; 3 zoos (8%) offered more than 20 different items daily. The remaining zoos offered 10 or less items daily. Overall, the zoos fed an average of three meals per day[ but up to six , which was usually scattered in the exhibit. The majority of zoos (n=27, 73%) use commercially prepared diets in addition to produce, while 10 zoos (27%) prepared their own staple diet. Six zoos fed meat on a regular or occasional basis. Twenty different vegetables were fed on a regular basis. The majority of zoos fed carrots (79% of the zoos), sweet potatoes/yams (71%), green beans (38%), onions (29%), white potatoes (29%), corn on the cob (12.5%), and leeks (12.5%). Twenty-three different fruits were fed on a regular basis with the majority of zoos feeding apples (96%), bananas (89%), oranges (85%), grapes (48%), fruit juices (22%), raisins (19%), and tomatoes (11%). Twenty-five different types of greens/browse were fed, including celery (89%), lettuce (71%), spinach (54%), kale (46%), broccoli (43%), cabbage (25%), willow browse (21%), parsley (14%), escarole (14%), and cauliflower (14%).
Eighteen different types of cereals/grains were fed, with a majority of zoos feeding bread (86%), sunflower seed (79%), peanuts (57%), mixed nuts (29%), popcorn (29%), and white rice (14%).
Nineteen different commercial products were fed, with the primary staple comprising Mazuri Old World Primate (fed by 32% of the zoos), Purina (Lab Diet) High Protein (20%), Marion Leaf Eater Biscuit (20%), Spectrum Primate Pro-Plus (16%), HMS High Fiber Primate (16%), Mazuri Leaf Eater (12%), Zu/Preem Primate Dry (8%), and Purina Lab Diet (8%).

in Seaworld(yikes !
A more recent website proves that mentalities haven't changed one bit since 1997: In general, primates can be fed a diet based on commercial monkey biscuits, high-fiber, old world and new world primate pellets, or canned primate diet.
Click for more
Marmosets should be fed a marmoset diet. To prevent high amounts of easy digestible sugars, which can cause diarrhea and obesity, low amounts (< 10%) or no fruits should be fed, and moderate amounts of carrot, sweet potato and apple, should be offered, depending on the species. Feeding greens and green vegetables, which are more comparable to the natural diet, should be encouraged. Monkey biscuits, high-fiber pellets for primates, and the canned products should comprise 20% of the dry-matter intake of gorilla and orangutan diets; fruits and treat items should comprise ≤10%, depending of the species, and green vegetables and browse should be at least 40% of the diet. Gorillas and orangutans should get browse. Alfalfa hay can also be offered.
in Nutrition in Primates, last modification: 2022
The appalling poverty of their diet and the fact they eat **cooked food** automatically discard any study whatsoever done on animals fed by humans. It applies to any primate species. Depending on the place and number of animals concerned, reserve animals may or may not be fed. However they will suffer regardless from a lack of variety, as reserves struggle politically to maintain both resource and superficy. Forest fragmentation is dire issue for animals, as it inhibits the natural circulation of seeds and fruits species, sometimes forcing apes to scout in cultivated areas for more food, leading to abberations su. Studies show that that all populations of gorillas are very flexible, with little to no distinct preference. Their diet reflect the environment they live in and regardless of subspecies **the more fruits available the more fruits they will not only eat but seek preferently**. Due to both human encroachment into their original habitat and most likely the effect of climate change since the end of the last Ice Age (at the Drias circa 10ky BCE), those gorillas were forced to migrate into widely unsuitable climatic zones with very little fruits. Experts argued that the over-eating we observe for mountain gorillas is explained by the low nutritional quality of the plants they have access too. But the fact they are so specific about their food point to a slightly different cause: it is the simple fact gorillas are not herbivores, the same way pandas [actually love fruits and meat](https://bestofpanda.com/do-giant-pandas-eat-fruit/), and rely on bamboos not out of choice or preference or adaptation (their hands adaptated but not their digestive system, still similar as that of their cousins, the bears). Despite the demonstrated great pickiness of apes in matter of food the idea that their well-being might be negatively impacted by their current possibilities of alimentation has not pierced the unbelievably thick skull of the people in charge of zoos and reserves. Chimpanzees and lowland gorillas on the other hand having as many fruits they want are as versatile, can make-do with just a few fruits species sometimes depending on the season, without sign of lacking. They do not have to constantly collect **dozens upon dozens** of different unnutritious fibrous plants - and being very specific about which parts !
```quote{cite="2020, Fruit-feeding and activity patterns of mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda"} Bwindi mountain gorillas *spent on average 15% of feeding time consuming fruit*, with **monthly variation ranging from 0 to 70%**. Greater amounts of fruit-feeding were associated with more time feeding and traveling, and less time resting. There were no significant differences in the amount of fruit-feeding and overall feeding time between adult females and silverback males, despite differences in body size. Discussion: This study confirms that gorillas are frugivorous, and only the Virunga mountain gorilla population can be characterized as highly folivorous. **Along with other frugivorous great apes, Bwindi mountain gorillas alter their activity patterns in response to varying amounts of fruit in their diet**. *In contrast to the less than 1% of foraging time spent on fruit in Virunga mountain gorillas, western lowland gorillas spend approximately 30%* of their foraging time consuming fruit, *accounting for up to 70% of feeding time during peak fruit season well as within and between years, and **within and between sites***. ``` > Free-ranging gorillas consume a wide variety of plant species, with 50 to 300 species reported.[^ref1] However, they are very selective, choosing only certain parts of the vegetation at certain times of the year[^ref2]. As an example, only the base and tips of young leaves may be selected, although mature leaves are also eaten[^ref3]. *Even captive gorillas are selective feeders*, with particular species and plant parts preferred by individuals and groups [^ref4]. Gorillas generally select immature leaves over the mature ones, which usually contain less fiber, more protein, and less secondary components such as tannins. Shoots, flowers, and fruit are also preferred over mature leaves. Woody vegetation species are not avoided. Rogers et al. (1990) conducted the most complete chemical analysis of the diet of the western lowland gorilla diet in the Lope Reserve, Gabon. *The gorillas in Lope Reserve do not appear to select food based on any antinutritional properties (i.e., phenolic compounds), and consume a wide variety of fruit from highly proteinaceious unripe seeds to sugary fruit. They seem to avoid unripe and higher-fat fruit.* ```quote{cite="2005, Diet of Grauer's Gorillas in the Montane Forest of Kahuzi, Democratic Republic of Congo"} *Variation in fruit consumption was positively associated with variation in fruit production. The gorillas ate fig fruits frequently; fig intake is positively correlated with that of other fruits, and figs were not fallback foods*. They relied heavily on bamboo shoots on a seasonal basis; however, no bamboo shoots were available for several years after a major flowering event. Our results support the argument that variation in gorilla diets mostly reflects variation in vegetational composition of their habitats. ``` ```quote{cite="2022, Dietary variability of western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla)"} Despite the Bwindi gorillas having slightly lower availability of major food items, more fruit in their diets, and having longer daily travel distances than the Virunga gorillas, *the energy intake rates for both populations were similar throughout the year*. *In Bwindi, when the gorillas were more frugivorous, their intake of protein declined and of carbohydrates was higher than that of Virunga gorillas*. **Mountain gorillas prioritize consumption of non-protein energy sources (fruit) when available, yet select foods from their habitat that are high in protein.** ``` ```quote{cite="https://a-z-animals.com/blog/what-do-gorillas-eat/"} When fruits are in season, western gorillas will spend more time foraging for fruits. Meanwhile, in the dry season, they will eat more leaves, stems, and other low-quality vegetable matter. Their preferred foods include fruits such as berries, bananas, and guavas. Over the course of a day, it’s not uncommon for a gorilla to consume 20 to 40 different types of foods. ``` ```quote{cite="[1990, Gorilla diet in the Lope Reserve, Gabon: a nutritonal analysis](www.doi.org/10.1007/bf00329756)"} We conclude that gorillas exploit the broad frugivore niche in West African lowland forests, and are part of the frugivore community there. **Gorilla diet at the Lope Reserve overlaps greatly with that of sympatric, frugivorous, primates, and resembles more closely that of chimpanzees than it does gorilla diet studied elsewhere in Africa** ```

It entails, that to conclude that diseases is natural because apes have some of them (not nearly as much as us) is eminently dishonest. We evolved along millions of years along a certain range of environmental variation, in particular for food. Outside that range we may survive but in suboptimal conditions. Studies seem to agree that mountain gorillas came to these altitudebecame due to climate change since the last ice age, an unfortunate event as a duration of 10 000 years pales in comparison of the millions evolution requires regards to the digestive system and dentition. They just got the wrong end of the stick.

In those conditions to conserve animals in their natural environment is foolish and even criminal in case of endangered animals (as are most apes). The environment change faster than animals can adapt ergo if we want pandas and apes to not die, we should relocalise them in rich environments, with a wide range of fruits and preys.
It also entails, that no conclusion whatsoever can be taken from apes in captivity given what they are fed. Captive chimpanzees fare no differently. I do not know natural reserves’ animals, as many of them are managed, especially for popuplations extensively studied. But considering the extent of the Ebola crisis I can not help but conclude that they too, must eat shit.

The quantity of human interference does not matter. Even a small proportion of processed food has proved enough to wreak havock on our nervous balance and immune system.

We must investigate in each case:

  • What exactly (or on average) is the average food diversity available in most reserves or populations studied ?
  • What proportion of domesticated vs wild varieties can they access ?

Jane Goodall wrote how chimpanzees would seek out the staff’s feces to eat them. In our experience, animals are very attracted to feces from humans eating cooked food, due to their abnormal scent, and ingesting them excites them considerably. Same thing for any human waste, and cooked food.

  • Do you know if that still happens ? Would it even be recorded ?
  • Is it still common (as it once was) for staff members to share their leftovers with apes ?

And all that aside, as a general rule if animals are fed anything processed, they will undeniably suffer the same consequences as men.

For each particular case of disease related, one can easily point at glaring disturbances in the environment. The single, overarching cause, being pollution of any kind, plastic heavy metals industrial coumpounds or anything men can’t help but developped Üntermensch can’t help but diffuse wherever they live.

```quote{cite="Mayaro Virus in Wild Mammals, French Guyana"} A serologic survey for Mayaro virus (Alphavirus, Togaviridae) in 28 wild nonflying forest mammal species in French Guiana showed a *prevalence ranging from 0% to 52% and increasing with age*. Species active during the day and those who spent time in trees were significantly more infected, results consistent with transmission implicating diurnal mosquitoes and *continuous infectious pressure*. ``` ![]bh(/Images/biology/ecology/French_Guyanas.webp) {.center} > Up to 12 000 informal miners, known as garimpeiros, still operate in this Caribbean country. Between five and ten tons of gold are smuggled outside the territory each year despite the pressure from French authorities.
```quote{author="[CNRS](https://www.inee.cnrs.fr/fr/cnrsinfo/la-deforestation-en-guyane-genere-un-declin-drastique-de-la-biodiversite-des-poissons-et)" cite="[2022, Low level of anthropization linked to harsh vertebrate biodiversity declines in Amazonia](https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-022-30842-2)"} light and sparse deforestation - less than 11% of deforested area between the faunal sampling site and 30 km upstream from this site - generates a significant decline in biodiversity in fish (-25% of species) and *mammals ( -41% of species)*. This decline is not random because it *preferentially affects detritivorous and herbivorous fish, as well as large predatory mammals*. This drastic impact of a low rate of deforestation on both aquatic and terrestrial animals is associated with the **deforestation caused by gold mining**. Indeed, this activity is known to alter the quality of waterways *by massively dumping fine particles and pollutants into the water*. ```


One third of all gorillas and chimpanzees died from the Ebola crisis since the early 1990s, according to estimations.

The world’s remaining wild apes are being increasingly forced into isolated pockets of forest, which impedes their ability to forage, breed and to hide from hunters. There is also a growing body of evidence linking deforestation and subsequent changes in climate to the spread of Ebola and other infectuous diseaes…
in Ebola has wiped out a third of the population of chimps and gorilla, Phys.org
At this moment in time Ebola is the single greatest threat to the survival of gorillas and chimpanzees. The virus is even more deadly for other great apes as it is for humans, with mortality rates approximately 95% for gorillas and 77% for chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes). Current estimates suggest a third of the world’s gorillas and chimpanzees have died from Ebola since the 1990s. As with humans, these deaths tend to come in epidemics. In 1995, an outbreak is reported to have killed more than 90% of the gorillas in Minkébé Park in northern Gabon. In 2002-2003 a single outbreak of ZEBOV (the Zaire strain of Ebola) in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed an estimated 5,000 Western gorillas (Gorilla gorilla). It’s hard to accurately count such elusive creatures but the WWF estimates there are up to 100,000 left in the wild – so a single Ebola outbreak wiped out a considerable chunk of the world’s gorilla population.
in https://phys.org/news/2015-01-ebola-virus-population-chimps-gorillas.html

As you see, we are not talking small, arguably primitive animals. These are the peek of vertebrate evolution, bonobos being the closest thing to us.

It’s been observed numerous times than an excess of something natural, would often lead to symptoms not too dissimilar, to eating the processed or cooked version of that thing. In particular excess of domestic meat, and also fish (including wild ones). The lack of varieties (of a wide enough food range) weakens the body all the same, with upsurges of autoimmunity such as joints hurting.

The coupling between EVD outbreaks and forest loss in the margins of the rainforest biome within the previous two years, highlighted in our study, has profound implications. A plausible explanation is that contact between humans and infected wildlife increases dramatically after the removal of forest. Such an effect has been previously suggested, and while our results strongly support such an interpretation, they also indicate that the changes are not sustained beyond two years. A variety of ecological descriptors (e.g. species richness) are affected soon after forest fragmentation, and the factors promoting the emergence of the Ebola virus (host range, reservoir species, circulation in nature) are still unknown.

Forest loss disrupts animal movements and local densities, and thus influences their interactions and the potential for a pathogen to be transmitted between individuals and across species —though for Ebola such mechanisms remain theoretical. Regardless of whether or not fruit bats are important reservoirs of Ebola virus, these animals are evidently involved in the virus’ ecology. Deforestation influences fruit bat movement and abundance, and the composition, abundance and behaviors of the wider mammal fauna is influenced by timber cutting and disturbance.

Thus, forest loss and fragmentation could favor the combination of ecological events that are required for viral emergence. Interestingly, our results, which are not limited to tall intact old growth forests, highlight the association between EVD outbreaks and close-canopy forests.

in https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-14727-9

While the explanation is usually that it forces the body to go to far in a specific elimination program (hence the autoimmunity), it is no secret that if an animal will instinctively smell around for hectares in order to find the one thing he prefers, never having that luxury is bound to bring some health issues.
We are inextricably tied to the environment we evolved in, on a physiological level.

While they can tolerate it, apes have not evolved for dry areas like savanna. Escaping predation isn’t really the issues as they rarely fall prey to other animals, beside humans. But too much aridity will drastically reduce the biodiversity, and available food range, which, as animals lack the foresight and intelligence to move accross a whole country to get back in the forest, trap them inside a constant state of weakness… Which parasites and viruses are designed to screen out.

Anthrax and drought

Satellite map of world active fires

Those fires are visible from space in the infrared, indicating that Africa is literally burning as you read those words, all year long.
How much of that aridity is due to the presence of man ?
Necessarily, a lot of it ! Even the Sahara, only took off to the extent it does today, around the Egyptian pre-dynastic period, 5,500 - 3,100 BC. Before, a lush climate reigned, hosting lions, crocodiles, hypopotamus and other animals. If this could be said of the desert, then how much more humid were equatorial regions ?

Infrared detection of fires in Angola
Infrared detection of fires in Angola

In the past week, the Global Forest Watch website, with data from the VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) instrument on the Suomi NPP satellite reported about 61,661 fire alerts in Angola. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, on the other hand, about 102,738 VIIRS fire alerts were published in the same week, from June 18 to June 25 [2020].
At this time of the year, fires of this magnitude are quite frequent as farmers, in preparation for the new agricultural season, clear old crops by burning them to prepare the land for new plants. This method involves burning the leftovers of old crops in an attempt to get rid of shrubs and unwanted grass on the land. This action restores nutrients to the ground and enables the growth of edible plants in the ensuing planting season.

This form of agriculture called “Slash and burn” is mostly practised in regions abundant with grasslands and rainforest. It is common in parts of Africa, Southeast Asia and northern South America. The slash and burn ritual is economical for farmers, and it dates to 12,000 years ago. Its economic value stands as it eliminates the need for large farming equipment for land clearing.

In fact it is absolutely necessary in many places, as tropical humus are very poor and shallow, despite all the biodiversity, as the soil is highly acidic, making nutrients absorption of nutrients very difficult for roots, and the type of clay particles present has a poor ability to trap nutrients and stop them from washing away, while the high volume of rain in tropical rainforests washes nutrients out of the soil more quickly than in other climates.

Lastly the high temperature and moisture of tropical rainforests cause dead organic matter in the soil to decompose more quickly than in other climates, thus releasing and losing its nutrients rapidly. When farmers cut down tropical rainforests and use its soil to try to grow crops, they find little success because of the poor nature of the soil.

Because of agriculture and the incapacity of people under cooking to savour original super-food (the nectar and ambroisy of the gods), we destroyed huge swaths of sensitive forest areas where before animals and pre-cooking humans could find all the variety they would need.

Beside, forests maintain wetter climates not only locally, but globally as well helping cloud formation by emitting in the athmosphere molecules which become kernels of nucleation. The same clouds, also reflect more light from the sun, reducing temperature.

While carnivores (the top of the food chain) concentrate the pollution from their prey, grazing animals (herbivores) however seem to be more dependent on plant variety (no wonder) for their health:

Anthrax is rarely lethal for vultures or mammalian carnivores (Robertson 1976) although leopard (Panthera pardus), lion (P. leo), cheetah (Aciconyx jubatus), and genet (Genetta sp.) have been known to succumb to the disease under natural conditions (Pienaar 1960, 1961).
A special problem is that cattle may appear to recover completely from FMD but a number of them become carriers, and hence foci for new infection, for a long time (Bachrach 1978). Influenza virus seems to disappear from the human population after a while but is probably maintained in animal reservoirs (Kilbourne 1978); many migratory bird species contain this virus in their tissues (Lvov 1978). Polio, the third virus related to rinderpest, can survive for significant periods of time in the free state in water.
The means of transmission of these related virus species make it likely that, for example buffalo, can acquire rinderpest easily from the environment or that they can become infected through healthy carriers travelling from area to area.
Sinclair (1979) mentions that in the Serengeti, rinderpest tends to take its toll at the end of the dry season. ** Anthrax also tends to occur at the end of the dry season** in the Kruger National Park (Pienaar 1961, 1967)
The chance to get anthrax is dependent on […] ecological conditions [which] tend to occur at the end of the dry season.
in Epidemics in Populations of Wild Ruminants: Anthrax and Impala, Rinderpest and Buffalo

In places plant diversity can be reduced to almost zero and conditions are wholly inhospitable for life:

Of all the regions of Kruger, the vegetation in the north is the least diversified and much of the region is blanketed in shrub mopane (Colophospermum mopane). The distribution of this tree in South Africa, Mozambique and Zimbabwe coincides with hot, semi-arid, low-lying valleys, and the mopane thrives under these conditions. Mopane leaves hang vertically and during the heat of the day very little shade is cast, which helps to minimise evaporation.
During the severe drought of the mid-1940s, the Letaba stopped flowing for two short spells at the end of winter. The Letaba and Olifants rivers are home to 60 per cent of the Park’s hippo, and in the past large numbers of hippo died in times of drought.
in Northern Kruger Park Region