Trip to Uganda for gorillas on hold
MANCHESTER — The planned visit by a Southern New Hampshire University professor and one of her students to Uganda to study human interaction with gorillas has been postponed due to “unrest in the region.”
SNHU Professor Michele Goldsmith said an e-mail that battles between government soldiers and rebels in the Democratic Republic of Congo has led to refugees streaming into the area.
Goldsmith and student Heidi Quigley were to have journeyed to Uganda Wednesday. The trip was postponed until December and January.
Goldsmith has studied interactions between humans and gorillas and the impact on the gorilla population when they begin to accept human tourists as a natural part of their environment. Her research examines the ethical issues created when dollars generated by tourism are used to protect gorillas, but also causes the animals to be more at ease with man and more apt to be killed by human illnesses.
Quigley reacted to the last minute delay as “very bad news,” but said it may turn out for the best.
“It’s going to be a better opportunity,” she said, since her planned interviews with tourists would be more fruitful in the busier winter tourist season.
Student and teacher will use the coming months to involve SNHU students in understanding more about biology and ethics.
Quigley is already looking forward to accompanying Goldsmith after the Christmas holiday,
“She has made me feel very comfortable regardless of what’s going on,” she said.
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Bill Smith may be reached at email@example.com.
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