In Uganda, chimpanzees and baboons at the Kibale National Park are suffering from distinct facial abnormalities. When researchers first discovered the abnormalities—specifically cleft lips—in 2014, findings were published but much was left unknown as to why they were occurring. It was reported that 10% of the primates were experiencing these abnormalities. Now, 25% of the primates in Kibale are suffering from the same phenomenon.
Though, the deformities have worsened throughout the years. Many of the baboons and chimpanzees are experiencing obstructed or altogether missing nostrils. Some primates have difficulty producing offspring. Many of them also had patchy, discolored fur.
Much like in 2014, researchers and scientists were unsure what the culprit was at first. A palpable reason presented was that the primates could potentially be suffering from an infection. But notable symptoms accompanying it were missing so the theory was ruled out.
But the reason became clear soon enough once researchers began poking around further. They began testing the soil and fish surrounding the area and discovered that pesticides could be a potential reason why these primates are suffering. Their research uncovered that eight pesticides were being used in the area with DDT being one of the main concerns.
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