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Congratulations to Ugandan gorilla conservationist!
03 July 2009

The Gorilla Organization recently organised a celebration to congratulate a prominent Ugandan vet on winning of one of the world’s most prestigious conservation awards.

Dr Gladys Kalema was presented with the Whitley Award for Conservation at a major ceremony in London this Spring for her pioneering work on the crossover of human and gorilla diseases.

Gladys has worked with the Gorilla Organization on many assignments on the Mount Tshiaberimu gorillas and right now has a joint programme with us to provide veterinary support in Uganda.  She founded the Ugandan NGO, Conservation Through Public Health.

Her winning project is based in the Bwindi area of Uganda, where there is a small population of mountain gorillas. Her research has shown that gorillas can pick up harmful pathogens from people and are susceptible to human diseases. Her work aims to reduce the risk of gorillas catching human ailments by offering local people better healthcare, better understanding of their gorilla neighbours and more employment opportunities from gorilla tourism.

At a Gorilla Organization celebratory dinner held in Gladys’ honour, more than 40 guests attended a ceremony at the Kampala Serena Hotel, where the chief guest was Hon. Jesca Eriyo, Uganda’s Minister of State for the Environment. The Gorilla Organization's Executive Director, Jillian Miller, also gave a speech at the event.

The Whitley Awards are now in their 16th year, and award a prize of £60 000 ($98 000) to the winning conservationist. Gladys will use the money to strengthen the programme, and expand into other areas of human and gorilla conflict like the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Photo shows: Dr Gladys Kalema (left) and Gorilla Organization Ugandan Operations Manager, Joyce Kigozi (right)

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