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Last Updated: Wednesday May 06 2009 10:48 GMT

Rangers rescue baby gorilla

Baby gorilla discovered in a bag

See the baby gorilla being rescued

Rangers have rescued a baby gorilla from suspected wildlife smugglers in the Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, in central Africa.

Officials say they caught a man trying to take the two-year-old female great ape out of the country.

The frightened looking creature was found hidden under leaves and clothes - in the bottom of a bag at one of the country's airports.

It is against the law to smuggle gorillas out of DR Congo.

The eastern lowland gorilla was rescued after a three-month undercover investigation by rangers, who suspected gorillas were being smuggled out of the country.

Although it's illegal to buy and sell gorillas an animal smuggler could earn as much as £15,000 for selling one secretly.

Recovering

The baby was treated by vets because, after spending more than six hours in a vehicle, it was very hot and hadn't drunk enough water.

She is now being cared for by vets from Virunga National Park, where around 211 gorillas are protected from illegal hunters.