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Great Gorilla Run 2009
26 September 2009

More than 600 runners in gorilla costumes put a smile on the faces of Londoners on Saturday 26 September in the Great Gorilla Run 2009.

The run, in its seventh year, is one of the most popular annual events in the capital.

The run was started by children’s television presenter Helen Skelton, who says “I'd encourage anyone to support a charity that helps protect gorillas. It's easy to take wildlife for granted, but we'll regret that in the not too distant future if we don't act now. This is a fun race that is entertaining to watch and even more so to take part in.”

Helen started the run along with intrepid gorilla-runner Rory Coleman who had run all the way to London from his home in Nottinghamshire in a gorilla suit. He arrived to a rapturous gorilla-welcome, and was at the front of the hundreds of other runners.

The quickest gorilla-runner completed the 7km course in just 34 minutes. The slowest was the UN Ambassador for the Year of the Gorilla, Ian Redmond, who walked on all-fours for most of the circuit and finished in just under two hours.


This year’s fundraisers have already raised more than 130 000 pounds for The Gorilla Organization. They will still be raising money until November.

The donations go towards community conservation projects in areas of precious gorilla habitat in Africa. Today gorillas are threatened, not due to a demand for their meat or their infants, but due to pressures on the lush forest where they live. For the poverty-stricken communities around the gorilla habitat, it is the forest that provides them with many of their fundamental human needs, but sadly, the collection of basic resources, such as water and firewood, is destroying the gorilla habitat and in turn the gorillas.

There are now only around 720 mountain gorillas left in the wild. Executive Director of The Gorilla Organization, Jillian Miller, says "The Great Gorilla Run is a fantastic way to raise money for the brave African conservationists and rangers who risk their lives protecting the gorillas so they will still be there for generations yet to come."

 

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
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org