Mountain gorillas amazing comeback is great news for all of us.
But it’s taken decades for that to happen.
And it’s all due in large part to one person – Dian Fossey.
The mountain gorilla tragedy started 40 years ago.
It was then that a family of mountain gorillas were decimated by poachers.
Fossey had named them – Group 4.
They were the first group of gorillas to be studied.
Fossey had established the Karisoke Research Center to study gorillas..
It is located in Rwanda, Africa.
The original Group 4 consisted of 11 mountain gorillas.
Poachers killed four of them.
And another three died as a result of the groups disruption.
And that only left three out of the 11 left.
And the group’s destruction was symptomatic of the gorilla population at large.
At that point only about 240 gorillas were left.
Fossey feared they would go extinct before the year 2000.
So she made the world aware of the plight of the gorillas.
And her efforts paid off.
As a result conservation policies and methods were instituted.
Mountain Gorillas Amazing Comeback
And today gorillas have made a remarkable comeback.
Now they number more than 1,000.
And people fighting on behalf of gorillas are pleased.
“This is a remarkable and unique conservation success story,” says Tara Stoinski, Fossey Fund President and CEO/Chief Scientist.
“It is the result of decades of on-the-ground protection by hundreds of dedicated individuals, many of whom have lost their lives to protect the gorillas, and a testament to the conservation efforts of the governments of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo where these gorillas live.”
Fossey once summed up the centre’s achievements this way:
“Little did I know then that by setting up two small tents in the wilderness of the Virungas I had launched the beginnings of what was to become an internationally renowned research station eventually to be utilized by students and scientists from many countries.”
And although successful conservation measures for wild animals are still rare, they do exist.
Elephants are another species where conservation has been successful.