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IGCP Director Annette Lanjouw Featured on Voice of America Television

  • Thursday, January 9, 2003

The mountain gorilla is one of the most endangered species of wildlife on Earth. Keeping track of them is the specialty of Dr. Annette Lanjouw, considered one of the world's leading authorities on mountain gorillas.

Recently Dr. Lanjouw visited the United States to share her concerns about saving the animals that are the focus of her life. During a visit to the Hill School in Middleburg, Virginia, Voice of America Television was there to witness the lecture.

DR. ANNETTE LANJOUW

"The reason you should save 672 mountain gorillas is because those 672 mountain gorillas don't exist anywhere else in the world. They are unique. And they have a value in and of themselves. I don't think you need to convince anybody who's ever seen a mountain gorilla of that value. The people you need to convince are the ones who haven't seen them yet.

Well, they have a whole range of different noises, but one of the noises that they make when they're sort of content and just feeding is the 'mmhmmmm, mm mm hmmmmm.' And so we make that noise when we come towards them.

They're very beautiful aren't they? So, for the first time ever, gorillas have a chance to survive. And the reason they have a chance to survive is because there are very motivated and dedicated African conservationists who are protecting them, and because people like you, people from the United States and from Europe are supporting the African Wildlife Foundation, and through them the International Gorilla Conservation Program.

Because we realize that gorillas will survive if we just leave them alone, and leave their habitat alone. They don't need that much interference from man. The real issue is to ensure that enabling environment is there to allow them to just get on with their business of being gorillas. We are the ones that are putting its survival at risk. We have a responsibility to ensure that it doesn't disappear.

For more information on AWF's work with the mountain gorillas, please contact John Butler at jbutler@awf.org.

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