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Conservation efforts are making a difference – take action on World Gorilla Day

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This year marks five years of World Gorilla Day, which invites people all over the world to come together in celebrating gorillas and taking action to protect them in the wild. It can be easy to focus on the problems such as habitat loss and conflict with humans. But it is just as important to focus on and amplify the conservation successes, as the progress we are making to secure a future for gorillas in the wild is valuable in encouraging the global community to support continued positive momentum. With this in mind, here are five noteworthy wins for gorillas from the last five years:

  • There may be more Grauer’s gorillas in the wild than previously thought! New Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund survey data from population strongholds for the Grauer’s gorilla provides a global population estimate of 6,800 individuals. Previous population surveys estimated the total number closer to 3,800 in 2015.

  • In the last five years, no Cross River gorillas or Grauer’s gorillas were killed in areas protected by your Zoo’s Gorilla SAFE conservation partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Zero!

  • The number of mountain gorillas in the wild has increased, with a new total population estimate of 1,063 individuals. This is the only species of great apes known to have an increase in population in the wild.

  • Deeper understanding of gorilla behavior was developed – specifically, researchers discovered that chest beating in male gorillas, along with accompanying vocalizations, serves as an accurate representation of the individual’s size and strength and therefore functions as an important communication tool.

  • A small but mighty sanctuary in Nigeria was revealed to be a haven for Cross River gorillas and other wildlife. Camera traps in the 38.6 square mile protected area snapped photos of gorillas, chimpanzees, red river hogs, drills, and more.

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Despite the inspiring strides made for gorillas in the wild, there is still urgent and critical work to do in protecting them.

How can your Zoo community be part of the rising tide for these great apes?

1) Bring your old electronics to the Zoo for recycling and help us raise money to support gorilla conservation! The Cleveland Zoological Society and MCPc, a data protection company, are hosting an electronics device recycling event on World Gorilla Day, September 24. Click here for more details.

2) Donate: Successes in gorilla conservation will only persist through consistent support for your Zoo’s partners in the field. Every bit helps!

Author: Emily Baber

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