Summerville, SC (IMARI) December 23, 2006 -- Dian Fossey has been dead for 21 years this December 26, but her dream of active conservation is still alive and well in the Virunga mountains. Due in part to a donation of $3,500 from the International Protection League (IPPL), of which Fossey was a member, Robert Muir of the Frankfurt Zoological Society has been able to provide emergency food and housing to an elite ranger force which guards the gorillas. In recent weeks, fighting took place between Congolese rebel forces, led by dissident General Laurent Nkunda. The conservation ranger force was forced to abandon four patrol posts and flee to Uganda, where they remained as refugees. IPPL provided the $1,000 seed money for emergency support. When Shirley McGreal, a friend of the slain primatologist Fossey, learned that fighting would likely continue, putting the gorillas at continued risk without the protection of the rangers, she went to her board and obtained an additional $2,500. Over $9,000 in total emergency support has been raised, aided by the Africa Conservation Fund, The Born Free Foundation, UNESCO, FZS and one private donor. Muir was able to purchase rations and cooking pots to feed 15 families, consisting of 80 people including rangers, their wives and their children.
|The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author
and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.