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Thread: Hand-reared Gorillas returned to wild in Africa

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    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Hand-reared Gorillas returned to wild in Africa

    Damian Aspinall with the three gorillas released into the wild in Gabon Photo: PA



    Western lowland gorillas Kouki and Oudiki, both almost two years old, and five-month-old Tiya were bred in captivity at Howletts and Port Lympne wild animal parks in Kent.
    While under the care of the keepers, the apes have thrived and have now become graduates of the Aspinall Foundation, set up by the late conservationist John Aspinall to protect rare species.
    Accompanied by Mr Aspinall's son Damian Aspinall, the gorillas jetted out to the Gabon on a nine-hour flight from Farnborough Airport laid on by Virgin businessman Sir Richard Branson.
    The group transferred to a helicopter and headed to a protected reserve before being introduced to the forest. Mr Aspinall said it was an easy transition and the apes will be ready for life in the jungle in a few years.

    Mr Aspinall said: "They will be taken for walks every day in the forest and in a few years they will be ready for life in the jungle.
    "We couldn't have hoped for an easier journey to the Gabon and to watch them adjust so quickly to their new environment.
    "My father would have been overjoyed to know that we are able to continue his work in conservation, breeding and the reintroduction of endangered species as the western lowland gorilla."
    The Aspinall Foundation manages and supports a number of conservation projects worldwide to help preserve and restore wild animal populations.
    It is feared that the western lowland gorilla will be extinct by 2020 if their numbers continue to decline at the current rate, mainly due to deforestation, the ebola virus and the bushmeat trade.
    The two wild animal parks in Kent house 74 western lowland gorillas, said to be the largest collection in human care, to help halt the extinction of the endangered species.

    Gorillas hand-reared in Kent returned to wild in Africa - Telegraph

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    Elite Member KrisNine's Avatar
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    I hope all goes well for these precious animals. It's frightening and alarming what's happening to these guys.

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