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Ymke Warren
24 July 2010

Tributes have been pouring in to the Gorilla Organization in memory of our friend and colleague Dr Ymke Warren, 40, who died in tragic circumstances at her home in Cameroon on 29 June 2010.

An internationally respected primatologist who loved the years she spent working in Africa, she was also dedicated to helping  local conservation students get ahead. As a result, the family and friends of Ymke have decided to establish a fund in her memory to assist promising young African conservationists. 

Ymke WarrenYmke was passionate about gorillas and, particularly, mountain gorillas and the fund is intended primarily to support students in this field. Ymke had strong ties to the Gorilla Organization and for much of the time between 1994 and 1999 she was based at the Karisoke Research Station, leaving only to avoid the worst period of the genocides that rocked that country. Ymke’s contribution to the study of mountain gorillas and her management inputs earned her the admiration of all of her colleagues and particularly the national Rwandese staff. Following the completion of a groundbreaking PhD that involved habituating Olive Baboons in Gashaka-Gumti National Park in Nigeria, Ymke turned her attention to the conservation of Africa’s most endangered gorilla subspecies, the Cross River gorilla in Cameroon.

Her professional leadership in developing research, monitoring and capacity-building programmes for the Wildlife Conservation Society has played a significant part in directing conservation action which is helping bring the population back from the brink of extinction.

Ymke’s death, a month after her 40th birthday has cut short a truly amazing life and there can be no doubt that Ymke’s work to conserve her beloved gorillas was far from finished. It is now up to the many others who worked under Ymke’s wing to take up this challenge afresh with support from this fund.

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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