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Urgent appeal for funds as Tsongo disappears on Mount T
05 February 2014

Tsongo, a silverback and one of just a handful of gorillas left on Mount Tshiaberimu has gone missing. His family is left fighting for survival against very heavy odds. The Mountain of Spirits as it is known locally, is situated in eastern DR Congo, one of the most dangerous place on the earth, for both humans and gorillas.

Jean-Claude Kyungu, the Gorilla Organization's head ranger at the critical Mount Tshiaberimu project is beside himself with worry. As a scientist and expert in gorilla behaviour, he has lived right alongside the two gorilla families for years. Tragically, he's also seen their numbers decimated by war, poaching and tragic accidents. With his team, he's out in the forests every day searching for Tsongo, even though everyone fears the worst.

In his own words, Jean-Claude has issued a desperate call for extra funding. Without this help, he fears there will soon be no gorillas left in this troubled yet beautiful part of the world.

"In the past 10 years I have seen the number of gorillas shrink from 20 to just a handful. Their habitat is being decimated by rebel groups fighting in the area and by desperately poor poachers, who come to the forest in search of food to survive.

I never get used to the sight of a gorilla that has been accidentally caught in a snare."

What we desperately need is more forest rangers, who can patrol the mountain and protect the family from the snares and the rebel militias. To do this we must have money to pay for their training, equipment and modest wages.

As well as providing more rangers to patrol the gorilla habitat, your donation will help Jean-Claude and his team train local people in sustainable agriculture so they won't need to set traps in the forest. Here's how your donation can make a real difference:

  • £10 helps clear the forest of hundreds of snares that trap and kill gorillas and other animals
  • £20 helps local people practice sustainable agriculture so they don't need to set snares in the forest to survive
  • £50 helps to equip and pay a forest ranger who risks his life every day to guard gorilla families

Without such urgent help, the gorillas on the Mountain of Spirits will become extinct. So, please hurry. Anything you can send will make a huge difference.

Thank you

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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
david@gorillas.org
www.gorillas.org