New Gorilla Rescue Center to Open in Eastern Congo, Founded by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund
U.N. Peacekeeping Mission To Airlift Rescued Gorillas
A group of orphaned gorillas rescued from poachers in Rwanda and Congo will be airlifted next week by United Nations helicopters to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they will learn to behave like wild gorillas in the first-ever rescue center for Grauer’s (eastern lowland) gorillas.
Their destination is the new Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center(GRACE), initiated by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, with advice on design and systems provided by experts from Disney’s Animal Programs and Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA).
“This facility provides a critical opportunity for us to help many more young gorillas that have been victimized by poaching, armed conflict, or habitat destruction" says Fossey Fund President and CEO Clare Richardson. “These gorillas have been traumatized by violence and mistreatment. They need a great deal of attention to help them recover physically and psychologically and to teach them how to survive in the wild.”
Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri) are classified as “endangered” by the IUCN Red List, and are considered at high risk for extinction. Estimates show as few as 5,000 Grauer’s gorillas may remain in the wild.
The GRACE center was built on land donated by the Tayna Center for Conservation Biology, with initial support from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Disney Worldwide Conservation Fund and Disney’s Animal Programs, and Pan African Sanctuary Alliance. It will be a joint initiative of the Congolese wildlife conservation authority (ICCN) and the Fossey Fund, along with other groups.
- Contact Information
- Erika Archibald
- Communications Director
- The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International
- Contact via E-mail
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