Travelers taking selfies with wild mountain gorillas could put the primates in danger of developing Covid-19, according to new research. Scientists from Oxford Brookes University, England, reviewed hundreds of Instagram posts from individuals visiting animals in East Africa on Tuesday, according to a press release from the university, and saw that most visitors were close enough to gorillas to bear viruses and diseases. A statement by research lead author Gaspard Van Hamme, an alumnus of Oxford Brookes University who started working on the study during his master’s program, said, “The risk of disease transmission between visitors and gorillas is very concerning,” He also stated that it is important that we improve and enforce tour regulations to ensure that these already endangered great apes are not further affected by gorilla trekking activities.

Mountain gorillas are listed as endangered, with an estimated 1,063 of them remaining in the wild, according to the release. They remain in the Democratic Republic of Congo (Virunga National Park), Uganda (Bwindi Impenetrable National Park and Mgahinga Gorilla National Park), and Rwanda (Virunga National Park) (Volcanoes National Park). Researchers looked at 858 photos on Instagram from 2013-2019 posted under two hashtags: #gorillatrekking and #gorillatracking, the study said. Within four meters (13.1 feet) of gorillas, 86 percent of the number showed people, and 25 of those photographs showed visitors approaching gorillas.