When Larry Ellison saw "Gorillas in the Mist" in 1988, he was so taken by Dian Fossey's dedication and sacrifice that he saw to it that Oracle, the successful corporation he had founded, became the first major U.S. for-profit corporation to take a leadership role in the protection of mountain gorillas. Even more important, Oracle has remained a steady Fossey Fund supporter ever since, and Ellison himself is one of our most generous and longest-serving board members.
"Our success in saving the gorillas has depended on our sustained presence, monitoring and protecting the gorillas every day," explains Fossey Fund President and CEO Clare Richardson. "Oracle understands that, and their sustained support for our work, and the example they set for others, makes it possible."
When Oracle first became involved, Dian Fossey had been murdered only a few years earlier. The organization's board of directors faced many challenges in continuing its mountain gorilla protection efforts without Fossey's strong leadership. Fortunately, Fossey had personally trained trackers and anti-poaching patrols who knew their jobs well. Oracle's intervention allowed the Fund to continue to pay those dedicated patrols.
The gifts that Oracle has made each year have undergirded the operations at Karisoke Research Center. Even through the years of uncertainty and insecurity, when the rainforest was sometimes too dangerous for Karisoke and national park patrols, Oracle recognized the need to keep the Fossey Fund operating and continued to invest. They eventually extended their support to the Congolese park authority's patrols and research as well. Now, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund programs extend across Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo protecting gorillas, helping people, educating scientists and assisting the governments in a variety of ways to build local capacity for conservation.
Oracle, founded in 1977, is the world's most complete, open, and integrated business software and hardware systems company. Oracle is committed to using its technology and resources to advance education, protect the environment, and enrich community life. As part of this commitment, Oracle has made and continues to make a positive impact on the wellbeing of men, women and children, as well as gorillas, in two African countries.
"We encourage more people to support the work of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund," says Colleen Cassity, Executive Director of Oracle Giving & Volunteers and the Oracle Education Foundation. "Throughout our long partnership, we have observed, first-hand, how the Fossey Fund works tirelessly to address the needs of the Rwandan and Congolese people, the local environment, and gorillas. We are proud to play a continuing role in these efforts and encourage others to lend their support. Together, we can truly make a difference for future generations."