The latest addition to the adoption range is available from www.wwf.org.uk/adoptagorilla for as little as £3 per month. You can also watch a special short film about Dougie's amazing gorilla trekking trip.
Threatened by loss of habitat, poachers' snares and risk of disease, the critically endangered mountain gorilla is found in the border areas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dougie's trip saw him visit two different mountain gorilla groups, firstly in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and secondly in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.
Dougie said: Coming to Africa to see gorillas in their natural habitat has just been incredible, an experience I'll never forget. I've learnt so much about the conservation efforts to protect the gorillas, their habitats and the local communities who live alongside them.
"One thing that stands out from my visit is just how big and powerful these amazing creatures are - but at the same time just how fragile they are. Not everyone's lucky enough to see wild gorillas first hand, but by adopting one with WWF you can do your bit to help protect them."
The gorillas' home is right in the middle of a densely populated area with high levels of poverty and conflict. This means that there are many complex challenges facing mountain gorillas. More than a million people live and depend on the forests near to where the animals live. Unfortunately, the need for land in order to grow food has greatly reduced the gorillas' forest habitat. Poaching and capture for the illegal wildlife trade adds further pressure. WWF is part of a coalition called The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) that works with local communities to help protect the mountain gorilla.
IGCP is a joint initiative of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF), Fauna and Flora International (FFI), and WWF. IGCP's mission is to empower the people of Rwanda, DRC and Uganda to jointly manage a network of trans-boundary protected areas that the mountain gorillas depend on. Together IGCP and WWF have supported projects such as environmental awareness and education initiatives, promotion of sustainable livelihoods and reforestation projects.
Adopting a gorilla with WWF is a fantastic gift idea, especially with Christmas coming up. Adopters will receive a welcome pack including a cuddly toy, as well as receiving regular updates on your adopted gorilla and our exclusive adopters' magazine Wild World.
Money raised from WWF's mountain gorilla adoption will help fund training and equipment for anti-poaching teams, as well as supporting work being done to reduce the difficulties that can arise when gorillas and people live close by. WWF is working with local people to help them find more sustainable ways of making a living that rely less heavily on the forest, such as ecotourism. This generates income for the national parks and creates much needed local employment. Adopting couldn't be easier - simply visit: www.wwf.org.uk/adoptagorilla
Images of Dougie on his gorilla trek and pack shots of the actual adoption product are available upon request. For more info please contact:
Kellie Rollings, tel: 01483 412340, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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About your adoption:
· You will be adopting Baby Ihoho who belongs to the Susa group of gorillas and lives in Volcanoes National Park in the Virunga Mountains, Rwanda.
· The Susa group is named after the Susa River, which has its source in the Virunga Mountains.
· The group currently has 35 members, including two sets of twin babies. It's headed by the dominant male silverback, Kurira, who was born on the 15th December 1981.
· All our gorilla adopters 'adopt' Ihoho so we can share his story. By adopting Ihoho, you'll follow his progress and experience the challenges and successes involved in safeguarding this fascinating species.
WWF is one of the world's largest independent conservation organisations, with more than five million supporters and a global network active in more than one hundred countries. We're working to create solutions to the most serious environmental issues facing our planet, so that people and nature can thrive. Through our engagement with the public, businesses and government, we focus on safeguarding the natural world, tacking climate change and changing the way we live. Find out more about our work, past and present at www.wwf.org.uk