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Gorillas on thin ice
15 January 2009

Dancing on Ice star Donal Macintyre took to the ice at the Natural History Museum today with a team of 15 skating gorillas and a primatologist dressed as Charles Darwin  to launch the United Nations’ International Year of the Gorilla.
 
Gorillas On Thin Ice was the theme as fifteen ice skaters, in head-to-toe gorilla costumes, joined Macintyre in a spectacular display designed to highlight the plight of gorillas in the wild. With three of the four gorilla sub-species now listed as critically endangered by the IUCN (International Union for the Conservation of Nature), the Year of the Gorilla aims to support gorilla conservation and draw attention to the conservation of gorillas and protect their habitats in the wild.
 
Jillian Miller, director of the Gorilla Organization, which provided the gorilla costumes for the Gorilla on This Ice event said, “At such a crucial time in gorilla conservation, the Year of the Gorilla provides an invaluable opportunity for conservationists to highlight the gorillas’ plight, and to secure the long-term funding and political support that is vital if gorillas are to survive long in to the future”.

Gorilla Organization Trustee and Year of the Gorilla Ambassador Ian Redmond, the skating Charles Darwin at today’s event, said “Gorillas may be on thin ice metaphorically, but the conservation of gorillas can help slow global warming. The health of the planet depends on the three great tropical forests of Amazonia, Congo and SE Asia.  The health of those forests depends on the survival of gorillas and other primates who disperse the seeds for the next generation of trees.   Gorillas are keystone species in the Congo basin forests. This is why the Year of the Gorilla is so timely, because forests must be included in the new Climate Agreement that follows the Kyoto Protocol.”

About the Year of the Gorilla 
The Year of the Gorilla is a joint initiative of the UNEP-CMS, the UNEP/UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) and the World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA). www.yog2009.org
 

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