mountain-gorilla

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Coming Together For the Survival of an Endangered Species

It takes a special kind of animal for complete strangers to come together and work to fight for the survival of a species. That animal, the mountain gorilla, was front and center last weekend as the film “Virunga” was nominated for Best Documentary at the Academy Awards.

The film documents the mountain gorillas who live in Virunga National Park, as well as the people who risk their lives daily to protect them. Despite not winning the Oscar, the film has touched countless people and brought awareness to the many others who work day after day to keep gorillas safe and healthy.

Gorilla Doctors’ sixteen veterinary doctors and support staff in Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo have dedicated their lives to just that cause, protecting mountain gorillas and Grauer’s gorillas. That work includes clinical interventions in the field, helping rescue orphans from poachers, and routine health monitoring of every habituated gorilla. But the workers in the park aren’t the only people who make a difference for this amazing species.

[Read More at Gorilla Doctors]

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Dian Fossey’s 82nd Birthday 

The leading authority of endangered gorillas would have turned 82 today (Jan 16) if it wasn’t for her untimely death in 1985. Dian Fossey worked in the tangled slopes of Rwanda studying mountain gorillas and developing a habituating process which was never done before. Louis Leakey sent her to the Congo in 1966 and began her conservation work by 1967 in Rwanda. She was the closest researcher to the gorillas than ever before. Her research camp was 9,000 feet up Mount Visoke and was her home and battleground for almost twenty years. She fought bravely for the lives of the mountain gorillas and put their safety and health before hers. She is an inspiration to all and to those who help save endangered animal lives.

Read her articles “The Imperiled Mountain Gorilla published in April 1981 and Making Friends With Mountain Gorillas published in January 1970.

Mountain Gorilla, Congo

Photograph by Michael Nichols

Of the many threats facing the endangered mountain gorilla, habitat loss is one of the most pressing. Trees in the Virunga range are often cut down for charcoal production. Here, a young mountain gorilla takes in the view from a tree branch in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

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Our own Dr, Oliver Ryder captured rare footage of wild baby gorillas playing in Rwanda. A cute reminder of the appeal of this endangered species and the importance of protecting them. (WARNING: Cute overload)

RWANDA, SABYINYO : A baby mountain Gorilla, member of the Agashya family, is pictured in the Sabyinyo Mountains of Rwanda on December 27, 2014. Rwanda, well known for mountain gorillas – an endangered species found only in the border areas between Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo – and hosted more than a million visitors between 2006-13, generating from the national parks alone $75m (£44m) in tourism revenue in that time; 85% of this is from trekkers who come to see some of the country’s 500 gorillas. AFP PHOTO / Ivan LIEMAN