NEW YORK (April 27, 2017) – The following statement is from John Calvelli, WCS Executive Vice President for Public Affairs:

“We did it.  The superhighway has been rerouted and wildlife saved.”

“WCS commends Nigeria’s Cross River State Government for agreeing to reroute a proposed superhighway to protect critically endangered Cross River gorillas.  The proposed route will ensure that the nation’s incredible biodiversity is safeguarded. We thank the government for listening to the local Ekuri Community and other communities’ voices who have expressed concern over the proposed highway’s impacts to lands important to people.

“In addition, we thank the more than 135,000 signatories to a petition demanding that the highway be moved, as well as those who participated in scores of public and private meetings with Nigeria's state and federal governments as well as the Nigerian Embassy in Washington, DC. The power of our collective, global voice truly makes a difference for wildlife and wild places.

“The original route for the 160-mile superhighway, which included a 12-mile-wide buffer, would have been catastrophic for the Cross River rainforest, demolishing some of the last-remaining habitat of the highly endangered Cross River gorilla.

“We urge the public to stay engaged on this issue as it continues to develop.  Together, we can do what’s right for Nigeria’s wildlife and the communities that depend on healthy forests and strong protected areas.”

Click here to sign the petition to thank President Buhari, Minister Jibril, and Governor Ayade for standing up for wildlife and local communities in Nigeria’s Cross River State today — and to make sure they keep their word.