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Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla to take part in the Great Gorilla Run
26 August 2009

The Ambassador for the 2009 United Nations Year of the Gorilla, Ian Redmond OBE, is to put on a gorilla costume and run the unique Great Gorilla Run – a 7km fun run around the streets of London – on knuckles as far as he is able!

The event, on Saturday 26 September, is in aid of The Gorilla Organization (formerly the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund Europe). It is 33 years since Ian first worked with the late Dian Fossey and mountain gorillas in Rwanda. Ever since then, he has spent much of his time researching and raising awareness of gorillas and conservation and is the Chief Consultant for GRASP - the UNEP/UNESCO Great Ape Survival Partnership.

The Great Gorilla Run is in its seventh year and has raised more than £60,000 for grassroots community projects in areas of precious gorilla habitat in Africa, such as:

  • Training 13,000 Rwandan farmers in sustainable agricultural techniques.
  • Building water cisterns in Rwanda and DR Congo.
  • Teaching local communities how to produce and distribute 500 fuel-efficient stoves in DR Congo, reducing consumption by up to 70% (firewood and charcoal are often illegally taken from gorilla habitat)
  • Providing training to miners on ethical mining techniques. Illegal mining in DR Congo has been a huge problem for gorillas.
  • Involving almost 30,000 young members in conservation activities through wildlife clubs in Rwanda and Uganda.
  • Providing beekeepers in Uganda with investment and equipment.

Ian Redmond says “I have spent hundreds of hours in the company of apes and have had the good fortune to regard some of them as friends. Out of all the countries in the world, only ten of them have gorillas. I have signed up to the Great Gorilla Run to raise money for projects that reduce pressure on vital gorilla habitat to try and save them from extinction.”

More than 500 people have already signed-up to take part in this year’s run. There is still time to register.

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