Tuesday, April 17, 2012

UK - Frontline Gorilla Conservation - Durrell

Islanders are being given an incredible opportunity to hear first-hand how conservationists on the ground in Africa are helping to protect the world’s largest primate, the gorilla.

Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust has joined forces with Virunga National Park of the Democratic Republic of Congo to hold a night dedicated to the efforts behind gorilla conservation. The evening is entitled “Gorilla Conservation on the Frontline” and will take place on Wednesday 25th April, starting at 7pm in the Princess Royal Pavilion at Durrell

Five different races or ‘sub-species’ of gorilla are currently recognised, all of which face a severe threat of extinction in their native African habitats. The gruesome and growing illegal trade in gorilla ‘bush meat’ and the all too common problem of habitat loss are the main reasons for the decline of the gorilla.

Durrell has kept western lowland gorillas since 1959 and they are a familiar sight to visitors to the Wildlife Park. To date, 15 valuable babies have been born here. Most are now at other zoos and continue to make a valuable contribution to the breeding programme for their highly endangered species.

Jonathan Stark, who has worked with Durrell’s gorillas for 5 years said: “The on-going conservation work to protect the gorilla is vital for its survival and we are proud to play our part in it. “Gorilla Conservation on the Frontline” promises to be a fascinating evening and will really open people’s eyes to the incredible work that takes place on a daily basis in Africa to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals.”

Images and text from the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust

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