Dear Furless Friends,
Since most people can't make it to the jungles of Africa, we are pretending the jungles are in Cincinnati, Ohio. Keep your eyes open, there will be hundreds of people dressed as mountain gorillas running through the streets of downtown Cincinnati on March 29th. The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund is hosting the Gorilla Run and all of us are helping to keep Dian Fossey's dream alive. Remember the movie "Gorillas in the Mist"?
This is where we need your help.....So what's our story?
In 1985, Dian Fossey was murdered. The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) took the initiative to keep her dream alive. When MGCF took over the project there were only 248 mountain gorillas left in the WORLD. Because of the projects that MGCF oversees there are now 880 in the countries of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A mountain gorilla can only be seen in Africa, these animals do not survive in captivity therefore they'll never been seen in any zoo.
Mountain Gorillas are one of our closest relatives, sharing 98.6% of our DNA. This makes them the closest link to mankind and we are trying to help keep these animals from extinction. MGCF introduced veterinary medicine back in 1986 with a project called, Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. The local governments are convinced that this project saved the gorillas from extinction during the war in the mid 90's.
MGCF developed a veterinary education department in central Africa's largest University called, Makerere University. This program is educating local Ugandans and Rwandans to become veterinarians. The current facility at the University has outgrown itself and we need to raise the funds to create more room for education. After graduation, they first protect the mountain gorilla, then expand to other wildlife in Uganda and Rwanda. MGCF needs support in raising funds for the new Ruth Keesling Wildlife Health and Research Center that will provide new lecture halls, two research labs and a wildlife disease surveilance lab. MGCF was the first in the world to ever build an "on location" veterinary center in 1986 for the protection of endangered animals. Since then, 20 expatriate veterinarians have served in the countries and now locals have been educated enough to take over and protect their own wildlife. This is a great thing for central Africa!
How are we doing this.....
We are asking each gorilla to set a fundraising goal of $250 and it's very easy. Just log on to the events web site at https://secure.getmeregistered.com/get_information.php?event_id=10923 and press the "click here to contribute" button. Make sure to select the person who you are supporting in the run. If you don't know anybody in the run no problem, just choose Unrestricted Donation - MGCF can direct where most needed. During these difficult economical times, your help is very important to the gorillas. Please help in any way you can.
Thanks so much from all the gorillas.