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Help support the next generation of gorilla rangers
17 March 2011

The Gorilla Organization has launched an appeal for funds to support the next generation of gorilla rangers in Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Gorilla ranger Pili Pili Kahuzi-Biega National Park DRCThe appeal is inspired by the story of Pili-Pili, a former hunter from the Bambuti pygmy tribe who has been working on the frontline of gorilla conservation for five decades, risking his life on a daily basis to monitor the gorillas' health, remove poachers' snares and protect the endangered gorilla population from harm.

Though he is now too old and frail to travel deep into the forests himself, Pili-Pili still helps to teach and inspire his younger colleagues. "With our supporters' help," says the Gorilla Organization's Congo Program Manager Henry Cirhuza, writing in the appeal, "we can ensure that this next generation of Pili-Pilis have all they need to provide immediate protection to the gorillas.

"We're working to ensure that all the unsung heroes of gorilla conservation have the training and equipment they need to deal with the many threats facing these magnificent creatures today.

"At the same time, we must also continue working with communities to tackle the longer-term threats to the gorillas' natural habitat through grassroots community-based sustainable development projects," he says.

When Pili-Pili started working as a ranger, there were just 450 mountain gorillas left, but thanks to conservation efforts over the years, the number has now increased to more than 780.

Nevertheless, there is still much to do before gorillas are out of danger. As Cirhuza points out, "Just £25 could provide much needed waterproofs and rations for a gorilla ranger." The appeal aims to equip as many young rangers as possible to help provide the protection needed to secure a future for the world's remaining gorillas in the wild. 

Donations can be made at www.gorillas.org/Donate or by calling the donations hotline on +44 (0)20 7916 4974

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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