The eastern lowland gorillas, a subspecies living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo whose population is on the decline received a significant boost recently. Media Mogul Ted Turner donated $1 million to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, to support an ambitious new initiative aimed at saving endangered gorillas in eastern Congo.
Scientific American reports that in making his announcement, Turner praised the work the organization does in Africa through the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, founded by Dian Fossey in 1967. The Fossey Fund’s work in Rwanda has led to the mountain gorilla being the only ape species whose numbers are increasing. However, the related subspecies of Grauer’s gorillas, found in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo, have received little protection and their numbers are plummeting.
“I’ve been involved in the environmental movement for a long time. And working to protect these wonderful creatures is part of that equation,” said Turner. “When we lose one species – as we do too frequently in our over-crowded, over-polluted world – we lose part of ourselves. I can’t think of a more important effort than protecting our world, our globe, our environment – and that includes protecting those who inhabit it, including the gorillas of Africa.”
Turner also issued a challenge to others to open their hearts – and their bank accounts – and also support the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund. “We may live on the opposite side of the planet from Africa, but what happens there can and will affect what happens here – and all around our fragile planet,” he concluded.
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