How to Sponsor and Adopt a Gorilla, Are you in need of information about sponsoring and adopting gorillas in Uganda, Congo, and Rwanda? Safari Vacations and Travel Services has all the information in this article. Gorillas are the most exciting primates. There are two main species of gorillas – The Eastern and Western gorillas. The Eastern Gorilla is further divided into the Mountain gorilla and the Eastern lowland gorilla.
The Western Gorilla is divided into two subspecies – The Cross River Gorilla and the Western lowland gorilla. Mountain gorillas are only found in Uganda, Rwanda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Eastern lowland gorilla can only be found in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Western lowland gorillas are the most common with a population of over 250,000. They roam the forests of Central and West Africa. Cross River Gorillas are only found in Cameroon and Nigeria and are the most threatened of all the gorilla sub-species. Only about 300 Cross River Gorillas remain in the wild. They are followed closely by the mountain gorillas whose numbers just reached 1,000 in the 2018 mountain gorilla census. The number of Eastern lowland gorillas continues to go down due to habitat loss, poaching, and pet trade. Only about 7,000 Eastern lowland gorillas remain in the wild.
Because most of the gorilla sub-species are threatened, the IUCN has put mountain gorillas, Cross River Gorillas, and Eastern lowland gorillas on their Red list of critically endangered species. As already mentioned earlier, gorillas face a great threat from poachers, habitat loss, and new and unfamiliar diseases resulting from more frequent contact with humans.
How to Sponsor and Adopt a Gorilla, Through the adoption of the mountain gorillas, a reasonable number of organizations have pulled together resources to help protect the gorillas. Some of the international gorilla conservation organizations include the Gorilla Doctors, Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, the International Gorilla Conservation Program, and Conservation through Public Health. They all work closely with local government authorities to protect the primates through community sensitization, offering veterinary services, building infrastructure, organizing censuses, and carrying out research.
The Senkwekwe Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo is an excellent example of a great gorilla conservation initiative in Africa. The Centre confiscates orphaned gorillas from animal traffickers and poachers and takes them to an extensive care facility for proper monitoring by the Gorilla Doctors.
The Senkwekwe Centre is the only mountain gorilla orphanage in the world. Most of the young gorillas arrive when they are traumatized not only because of the poor conditions they are found in but also as a result of watching most of their family members and parents killed. Some arrive at the Centre with bullet or snare wounds while others arrive malnourished.
Adopt a Gorilla If you are interested in a similar facility for Eastern Lowland Gorillas then you should read more about the GRACE Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Centre. This Centre is based in Kasugho (Democratic Republic of Congo) and is similar to the Senkwekwe Centre but receives Eastern Lowland Gorilla orphans (Grauer’s gorillas). The most famous Eastern lowland gorilla orphan is Kalonge. She was first raised at the Senkwekwe Gorilla Orphanage before being transferred to the GRACE Centre. The Senkwekwe and GRACE Centres offer individuals an opportunity to volunteer or make a donation to the facility. A more interesting alternative is the opportunity to adopt a specific orphaned gorilla.
If you are interested in organizations similar to the Senkwekwe and GRACE Centre, then you may want to check out the Kagwene Gorilla Sanctuary and Limbe Wildlife Centre in Cameroon, which is dedicated to preserving and protecting the Cross River gorillas.
If you wish to donate or sponsor a gorilla, there are several organizations that you can consider, such as Nature’s Path donations to the Dian Fossey Foundation, The Smithsonian’s National Zoo, The Aspinall Foundation, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation Biology Institute, the World Animal Foundation, or the Dian Fossey Foundation website.
For those who want to sponsor zoo animals, there are numerous opportunities available. You can find out more about these opportunities at the Woodland Park Zoo, Philadelphia Zoo, The Paignton Zoo, Lincoln Park Zoo, The Fort Worth Zoo, and the Francisco Zoological Society. The Bristol Zoo also offers individuals the chance to sponsor Western lowland gorillas like Jock the Silverback.
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Donors shouldn’t expect a reward for sponsoring a gorilla. However, the only true reward is knowing that you have made your contribution to the protection and conservation of one of man’s closest relatives. On the other hand, most organizations that accept donations usually have packages for sponsors. For instance, most offer certificates, information about the gorilla you are sponsoring, photos, and a thank you letter. If you are sponsoring a gorilla in a zoo, you might have your names displayed.
Gorilla trekking is a good way of indirectly contributing to gorilla conservation programs but it is not enough. The great primatologist Dian Fossey is remembered for initiating several gorilla conservation activities and programs. Fossey studied mountain gorillas extensively but later changed to active participation in eliminating poaching and gorilla trafficking. She campaigned against poachers relentlessly and let the world know about the plight of mountain gorillas in East and Central Africa. Dian Fossey’s efforts led to wider recognition of the need to stop poaching and allocate more funds to gorilla conservation efforts. After her death, her work continued through the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. The Fund helps protect gorillas and sensitizes communities living close to gorilla habitats on how to live harmoniously with the primates. The organization allows individuals, groups, and organizations to adopt or sponsor a gorilla.
How to Sponsor and Adopt a Gorilla, Adopting a gorilla is important because it allows individuals to partner with organizations in protecting the endangered primates. Gorilla conservation is more effective when individuals join hands with organizations for the same goal of eliminating poaching, illegal animal trafficking, and habitat loss. The number of mountain gorillas has now risen to slightly over 1,000 individuals. This is a result of the tireless work of gorilla conservation organizations and government agencies. These organizations receive funding from both government and individual donors. By supporting organizations like the Dian Fossey Foundation, Senkwekwe Centre, or the Gorilla Doctors, you can help ensure the protection and growth of gorilla populations. Donations and sponsoring individual gorillas help ensure that they receive the best possible care.
The Senkwekwe Centre and other similar facilities allow individuals and groups to adopt gorillas. These donations help offset some of the costs of hiring staff and food for the orphans.
The Senkwekwe Centre currently accepts donations from individuals who are willing to adopt a particular mountain gorilla in the facility. The cost of caring for baby gorillas is expensive. Formula for a baby gorilla can cost $480 in a year. The food for adult gorillas is even more expensive and can go up to $1200 a year while the Caretakers need salaries of about $5,400 each year. Maintaining the facilities at the Centre costs about $12,000 per year. The Centre has received generous contributions from individuals and organizations but there are still costs to cover. You can support the Centre by adopting one of the mountain gorillas like Musuka (formerly known as Yalala), Matabishi, Ndeze, and Ndakasi. To donate or adopt a gorilla, you need to visit the Gorilla Doctors website for information about how to donate to a particular gorilla at the Senkwekwe Centre.
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