Houston Zoo Continues Critical Support & Highlights Gorilla Doctors WorkBy Gorilla Doctors Staff on Thursday, May 28th, 2015 in Blog.
The Houston Zoo, a long-time supporter of Gorilla Doctors, celebrated the opening of their brand new gorilla exhibit this month. The $28 million exhibit is home to 7 western lowland gorillas and, at 4,000 square feet, is said to be the largest gorilla exhibit in the world. Zoo staff chose to highlight the opening of the exhibit by featuring the work of their gorilla conservation partners, Gorilla Doctors and the GRACE sanctuary for Grauer’s gorillas.
The Houston Zoo began their support of Gorilla Doctors in 2009 and for the past 6 years, a portion of every dollar spent by Zoo visitors has gone directly towards supporting wild gorilla conservation. In addition to the $250,000+ the Zoo has donated to Gorilla Doctors since 2009, their staff also supply our veterinarians with medical supplies and tracking and monitoring equipment. A portion of the Houston Zoo’s donation has been allocated for our Employee Health Program, which allows trackers, rangers and other national park workers who come into close contact with the gorillas (as well as their family members), to receive health screening from a doctor and periodic deworming. In fact, in the first half of 2015 alone, 2,300 gorilla conservation workers and their family members received health checks and medicine from a doctor, thanks, in large part, to the Houston Zoo.
In October of last year, Houston Zoo hosted both the Gorilla Doctors annual board meeting and their annual conservation fundraising gala “Feed Your WildLife: Celebrating Gorillas in the Wild”, which raised $650,000 for the Houston Zoo’s gorilla conservation partners.
Houston Zoo staff, including Gorilla Doctors Board Member Peter Riger, spent three weeks on the ground with our veterinarians in March to better understand our needs and the scope of our work. While in Rwanda, Zoo staff members visited Agashya group as they feasted on eucalyptus on the fringe of Volcanoes National Park. (Click here to read the Houston Zoo blog)
“The Houston Zoo is our guardian angel” said Gorilla Doctors Co-Director Dr. Mike Cranfield. Adds Co-Director Dr. Kirsten Gilardi “The Houston Zoo is one of our most valued partners. Its commitment to wildlife conservation is so impressive, and is such a great example for the world on how zoos are so important, for people and for wildlife.”