Gorilla Update August 2020

World Gorilla Day

September 24th is World Gorilla Day, recognizing not just the majesty of gorillas, with whom we share more than 98% of our DNA, but also the threats to survival they face on our warming planet. World Gorilla Day began in 2017 to coincide with the 50th anniversary Dian Fossey’s work to conserve mountain gorillas. She established the Karisoke Research Center on September 24, 1967 and it is now the world’s longest running gorilla research site. World Gorilla Day enables us to celebrate our work in the forest 365 days a year, tracking gorillas, studying them and ensuring their protection.

On World Gorilla Day, we want people to know that, while mountain gorillas’ numbers are slowly increasing, their small population of just 1,000 individuals still face incredible threats. And unfortunately, their close cousins the Grauer’s gorillas, are predicted to be extinct in just a few decades if we don’t increase our protection efforts. That is why we cannot let up in our conservation efforts. But we cannot do it alone. We need the continued support of our friends from around the world to ensure that our CRITICAL work continues. In support of World Gorilla Day, we are asking you to GET INVOLVED!

To learn about the many ways you can help us continue our protection and conservation efforts visit our World Gorilla Day campaign page

When gorillas are healthy, the forests in which they live, which act as the lungs of our planet, are healthy as well.
Protecting gorillas protects us all.

World Gorilla Day Page


Gorilla Update

In recent months, we have seen a significant baby boom!  We are so excited to see the future generation of the mountain gorilla population and it gives us such hope for their long-term conservation.  

Gorillas are amazing moms and this last group to give birth are no exception. We wanted to share a special story that we feel showcases the extremes females will go to protect their infants.

Recently, brothers Mutobo’s and Urugwiro’s groups have been interacting regularly as they both try to attract females to join their respective groups.  These interactions often involve aggression between the two brothers as they compete for the attention of the females. This can be a dangerous time for an infant, and because of that new mom Mudakama went above and beyond to protect her two-month-old baby.

To minimize the risk to her infant, Mudakama temporarily left her group when it began interaction with Motobo’s group.  Isolating herself and her baby away from the group allowed for her to protect her young infant from the physical interactions of the silverbacks. She left the security of her group for five days, waiting patiently for the conflict to end so she and her baby could safely rejoin. After the two groups ceased interactions, Mudakama, returned to her family.

Hats off to Mudakama and all the incredible gorilla moms out there!  Follow their stories on our social media.


Campus Update

We recently had the opportunity to sit down with Theo Uwayezu and Emily Goldenberg of MASS Design Group to talk about the significance of local fabrication, a design philosophy that we are putting to use as we work with them to construct our Ellen DeGeneres Campus.  Mr. Uwayezu is a project architect and Ms. Goldenberg is the project manager.  The eco-friendly facility, which we anticipate will be completed in summer 2021, will include laboratories, a computer lab and library, flexible office and meeting space, classrooms, an interactive educational exhibit and on-site residences for visiting students and scientists. Built with locally-sourced materials, the Ellen Campus will embody our mission to conserve and limit our impact on the environment through rainwater harvesting, green roofs, the planting of over 250,000 native plant species and a constructed wetland to treat wastewater and promote biodiversity.

Read the interview and learn how the building of our campus is making a difference.  




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