The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa, their habitat, and working with the people around the National Parks.
We have been doing this ever since Dian Fossey asked for help back in 1983.
The discovery of the Mountain Gorillas took place in the Virunga Mountains, on October 17th, 1902, by Captain Robert von Beringe. In celebration of this event and to promote the preservation of the Mountain Gorillas, the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) is undertaking several projects to achieve the goal of saving these gorillas from extinction.
In 1987, only 248 Mountain Gorillas lived in the wild. Because of projects coordinated by the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund, there are now approximately 880 living in the wild. The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund is dedicated to ensuring the future of the Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. By providing a partnership of business, wildlife conservation, and community development, MGCF addresses the single biggest challenge facing preservation of these animals today; how do we help communities in developing areas grow and prosper without destroying precious habitat or the Mountain Gorillas who call it home.
Mountain Gorillas are one of our closest relatives, sharing 98.6% of our nuclear DNA. This makes them the closest link to mankind and as a group we are trying to help save these animals from extinction. MGCF introduced veterinary medicine in 1986 with a project called Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. The local governments are convinced that this project saved the gorillas from extinction during the war in the mid-90′s. Remember the movie “Hotel Rwanda”?
Our Current Goals:
MGCF needs to expand the veterinary programs offered to the local Ugandans and Rwandans. The current facility at Makerere University has outgrown itself and we need more room to further the education of locals to first, protect the Mountain Gorilla, then expand to other wildlife in Uganda and Rwanda. MGCF needs support in raising funds to build a new expansion to this veterinary school. MGCF is seeking $150,000 to build phase I and construct a new lecture hall tripling the current capacity.
Phase II will include and a wildlife museum to conserve gorilla remains for future studying and a laboratory for research. MGCF was the first in the world to ever build an “on-location” vet center in 1986 for the protection of endangered animals. Since then, 20 expatriate veterinarians have served in the countries and now locals are being taught veterinary medicine so they can take over the task of protecting their own wildlife. This is a great thing for central Africa!