The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund has launched an initiative to try and raise $50,000 to help protect one of the world’s most endangered primate, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, also known as the Grauer’s Gorilla.
The Gorilla lives in the Congo, Africa, and is primarily endangered as a result of poaching for meat, agricultural expansion and unrest, meaning its endangered status is a result of human behaviour. The Grauer’s Gorilla has been given the status of being “Critically Endangered”, the penultimate classification before they are deemed “Extinct”.
The name Dian Fossey might sound familiar, as the actress Sigourney Weaver, portrayed the world-renowned naturalist in the 1988 Oscar-Nominated Film “Gorillas in the Mist”, in which she starred. Her role in the film won Weaver an Oscar Nomination for Best Actress, and lead to an unprecedented three-way tie at the Golden Globes, with Weaver winning the award along side Jodie Foster and Shirley MacClaine.
On Tuesday, painter Gabinka kicked off their drive towards #GorillaGivingTuesday, which is held on November 29. By this time they hope to have hit their target. To help the charity hit their target, Gabinka will donate Ten Percent of the proceeds from sales of her “True Face” Gorilla series to the fund.
Gabinka is an artist renowned for her “Innocent Angels’ collection, a series of art dedicated to celebrities, which received support from the family of Michael Jackson, to whom one of the paintings was dedicated. Gabinka is now managed by Michael Jacksons former manager.
The Dian Fossey Gorilla fund celebrated its 50th Anniversary of protecting endangered primates this year. Throughout its lifetime, the organization has funded initiatives such as financed patrols to locate, remove and dismantle poaching traps in the Mountains of Virunga, and continuous the operation of the Karisoke Research Centre. The Fossey Fund also studies and protects endangered Grauer’s gorillas and their habitat in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in part by providing health and education programs to help people who live close to gorilla habitats, in an attempt to make it so that the people and the gorillas thrive together in sustainable forests.
Dian Fossey started the fund herself, but after her murder its name was chained to honour her, and in her very last diary entry before her death, Fossey ended it with a comment on the importance of preservation.
“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”
To learn more about the charity drive and the foundation, click here, and for more on Gabinka and her “True Face” Gorilla series, visit this website. For details on how to support the fund by purchasing one of Gabinka’s paintings, please email GabinkaArtContact@gmail.com