Gorillas are one of our closest relatives, sharing 98% of our genes. These highly intelligent apes capture our imagination with their large, imposing size, yet shy and gentle ways. Few people have heard of Grauer’s gorillas, the largest of our ape cousins. They only live in Central Africa in the eastern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo, a region that has endured decades of horrific war, which has claimed the lives of over 5 million people. Armed groups continue to operate in remote forests, jockeying for control of Congo’s vast mineral deposits. They hunt wildlife in the process, including gorillas. Infant gorillas are also captured then kept or sold illegally as pets. Nearly 80% of the Grauer’s gorilla population has been lost in just 20 years. These Critically Endangered gentle giants are now teetering on the brink of extinction, with only 3,800 remaining.
Yet, despite these challenges, hope remains. In a remote corner of Congo, a small organization is making a big difference for Grauer’s gorillas. Founded by local communities determined to protect their wildlife, the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (or GRACE) nurses orphan gorillas back to health then gives them what they need most: an opportunity to be with other gorillas. The gorillas at GRACE – all orphans – form a tight-knit surrogate family and, ultimately, help heal each other. Fourteen gorillas now have a second chance thanks to GRACE and are awaiting reintroduction back into the wild where they can once again live free. GRACE is also leading conservation education, forest protection, and sustainable livelihood initiatives to ensure orphan gorillas and their wild counterparts have a future in Congo.
But GRACE cannot do it alone, which is why they need your help today. Your support of $50 provides a month's worth of medications and veterinary supplies for an orphan gorilla. For $100, you can sponsor GRACE caregivers for a day and give gorillas the gift of lifesaving care. A contribution of $200 helps deter poaching and protect gorilla habitat by sponsoring a GRACE educational campaign. Your gift of $1,000 brings gorillas closer to the wild by providing needed technical support for the first-ever reintroduction of Grauer's gorillas. Please join GoPro and donate today to help GRACE reach its goal of $80,000.
For more information, visit www.gracegorillas.org.
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