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Gorilla Organization mourns loss of patron Sir Arthur C Clarke – a true champion for gorillas
27 March 2008

Sir Arthur C Clarke was as much a champion of planet earth as he was of space. He put issues of poverty and the environment above all. That is why he felt so strongly about the Gorilla Organization, becoming our founding patron in 1994, and giving us so much of his time, his inspiration, his introductions and his money to ensure the gorillas had a future. He will be so sadly missed.
 
Sir Arthur first became involved with the Gorilla Organization in 1994, when he made it his personal duty to ensure that the organisation was involved in a NASA mission to image the gorilla habitat.

He became particularity shocked by the negative impact the consumer technology industry was having on the gorillas - as the mining of Tantalum, a rare mineral used in the manufacture of mobile phones and other high-tech gadgets, destroyed the gorilla habitat.
 
In an interview in October 2001 with CNET News.com, Sir Arthur confirmed: “I'm sure it's possible to harvest this essential material without damaging the environment or threatening the gorillas, but people must understand the problem and be prepared perhaps to make some adjustments”.
 
His dedication to raising awareness to the gorillas plight lead him to take part in a web-chat with Leonardo DiCaprio in September 2001. During the conversation, Sir Arthur spoke of the connection he felt when looking in to the eyes of a gorilla, a connection that he confirmed “you can’t have with any other animal”. He recognised the need for humans to unite with nature and not separate themselves from it, and had an amazing ability to see a future where humans and gorillas lived harmoniously - a future the Gorilla Organization continues to work towards today.

He gave the gorillas his support one last in November 2004, before ill health prevented his active participation. He attended a conference in Colombo, Sri Lanka, where he lived, that was in one session addressing the illegal mining still taking place in the gorilla habitats of eastern Congo. Sir Arthur suddenly arrived unannounced at m the Taj Samudra Hotel, where the conference was being held, and asked GO director Greg Cummings, “Got anyone you need to impress?” He was introduced to World Bank’s Paulo de Sa, while wearing a gorilla mask.

On hearing the news of his passing, Greg Cummings said of Sir Arthur’s support, “He more than anyone shared GO’s optimism that, if we took the right decisions, the gorillas would have a future. He gave us hope they could inherit the earth by taking us into space. There will be a black hole even greater than Arthur could have imagined in our organization now that our greatest patron has gone.”
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