Ted Turner certainly made the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International’s day when he donated $1 million dollars to help save eastern lowland gorillas.
Being the largest donation the organization has ever received, that money will go a long way. According to the Scientific American, the funds will help build field stations so that rangers can protect the primates from those warring over natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Fossey Fund will also hire local Congolese people to collect data and keep an eye on the gorillas.
Turner said about the donation, “It comes down to this. Every single gorilla counts; every single person counts in protecting the gorillas; and every single dollar counts in supporting the work to protect the gorillas.”
He also told the Atlanta Journal Constitution, “I wanted to make a statement. If mankind can learn to stop killing the great apes, maybe we can learn to stop killing each other.”
Estimates put the population of eastern lowland gorillas at between 4,000 and 27,000. With numbers like those, Ted Turner’s donation and the spotlight he’s putting on the issue has come just in time. We hope.