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GO GO Gorillas…
02 July 2006

December 2006

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe has changed its name to the Gorilla Organization (GO).

Supporters who remember the pioneering work of Dr Dian Fossey, who was murdered in 1985, may also recall that she called the organisation she founded to protect the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, the Digit Fund, after her favourite gorilla, named Digit, was killed by poachers in 1978.

Among others at the time, Fossey's close friend Ian Redmond, OBE - now a trustee of the Gorilla Organization - who discovered Digit's mutilated body and broke the bad news to a distraught Dian, encouraged her to set up a fund to raise money to stop the poaching. "What I am actually seeking ," she wrote in a heartfelt plea, "is a Digit Fund."

In 1992, the Digit Fund UK changed its name, under licence from Dian Fossey's estate, to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe to honour Dr Fossey and promote her inspirational work.

Broader brief
Now, 14 years later, it has changed again. This time to better reflect our broader brief – we now work with lowland as well as mountain gorillas – and the wider audience the fund has attracted over the years.

“Had Dian still been with us,” says Ian Redmond, “her natural modesty would have led her to oppose the [original] change – and she would not have wanted an organisation in her name.

“Now, as we expand our work to help other kinds of gorillas, being named after someone who is strongly associated with the Virunga mountain gorillas is not necessarily an advantage.

“It is my hope that, with sufficient support, the Gorilla Organization will expand to apply the lessons learned around the Virungas to gorilla populations in all the ten countries where they are found.

“I hope people will be reassured, however, that we are not re-writing history. Dian's example of courage and dedication to her beloved mountain gorillas will always be an inspiration to us."
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