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Amy Akago begins a new life in DR Congo
18 October 2012

The Gorilla Organization is officially retiring Amy Akago as its adopted gorilla, more than 15 years after choosing her to help give supporters a valuable insight into the lives of critically-endangered mountain gorillas.

As recent adopters may know, just before she celebrated her 18th birthday, Amy once again left the Agashya Group behind her. While she has left this group before only to rejoin them a few months later, it is now believed she has left them behind for good and crossed the border from Rwanda into DR Congo to join another gorilla family. Moving between groups is not uncommon for adult female gorillas, particularly for individuals who, like Amy, have suffered the death of a young infant.

Though she has now disappeared from the limelight, Amy will not be forgotten. Over the years, she has provided both her supporters and the Gorilla Organization's teams in London and Africa, with much joy, not least the satisfaction of seeing her grow into a strong, healthy and independent adult and be reunited However, it has not all been good news: Amy was given the name 'Akago', meaning 'unlucky' after she got her arm caught in a snare when she was just three years old. More recently, she twice became a mother, only for her infants to die before they even reached the age of one.

Now, with Amy believed to be living with an unhabituated gorilla family in the Virunga National Park, DR Congo, the Gorilla Organization is introducing a new adopted gorilla, a one year old female named Iwacu, meaning 'our home'.

"She is an adorable baby mountain gorilla," says fundraising officer Kym Dhudwar. "Her mother is Turiho, who is the younger sister of Amy, so this makes Iwacu Amy's niece. We hope that supporting her and seeing her grow into a strong, healthy adult will bring lots of joy to our supporters, just as Amy did over the years."

A new-look adoption pack will be launched to celebrate Iwacu's arrival into the Gorilla Organization family and further details about Iwacu herself will soon be made available.




for further information or photographs contact:

David Hewitt, Communications Manager
The Gorilla Organization, 110 Gloucester Avenue, London, Nw1 8HX
Tel: 020 7916 4974
Mobile: 07801 971123