“The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International is delighted to learn that Phillip Sheppard of Santa Monica, California, a Final 3 contestant on CBS’ ‘Survivor: Redemption Island,’ CEO of Enterprise Software Sales Group, and consultant to the documentary ‘Delicious Peace Grows In A Ugandan Coffee Bean,’ is encouraging fans to donate to our efforts to protect gorillas and their habitats in Africa,” says Fossey Fund CEO and President Clare Richardson. “The gorillas too are survivors, but they cannot overcome the threats to their future – from poaching, habitat loss and disease – without help.”
The Fossey Fund is the only non-governmental organization that is on the ground every day monitoring and protecting the highly endangered mountain gorillas and the forests where they live in the Virunga mountains of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Our anti-poaching patrols now provide daily protection to one-third of the 480 mountain gorillas in the Virungas. The Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, established 43 years ago by Dian Fossey, has created a long-term database that now spans three generations of gorillas and is an outstanding resource for the world’s scientists. Karisoke’s research has also expanded to include other rare species that share the gorillas’ habitat, and provides a basis for effective conservation planning.
In the DRC we partner with park authorities and a network of gorilla reserves established and managed by local communities to protect almost the entire range of the endangered Grauer’s gorilla (formerly known as the eastern lowland gorilla). The Fossey Fund also seeks to combat the illegal trafficking in gorilla infants by providing care and rehabilitation for orphan gorillas confiscated from poachers.
Because gorillas cannot survive unless people thrive, the Fossey Fund also works with communities near the gorillas’ habitat and with government agencies, universities and other environmental organizations to provide health, education and economic development programs. The aim is to empower people to become leaders in protecting their environment by improving their quality of life and providing alternatives to seeking resources in the forest.