The vEcotourism team is pleased to announce the launch of our YouTube channel, which will hosts recordings made by our vEco tour guides in the field, link to amazing videos of the natural world, showcase brilliant conservation projects, bring awareness to environment and wildlife issues, and feature talks by renowned conservation professionals.
Our first feature video is a talk by Ian Redmond OBE, renowned conservationist, UN Ambassador for the Great Apes, and Chairman of the Ape Alliance, about his incredible experiences working with Dian Fossey and mountain gorillas.
The Chimp-n-Sea Wildlife Conservation Fund, co-founded by virtual ecotourism Director Mark Laxer, hosted Ian Redmond in Vermont, USA, where he gave a thrilling and passionate presentation about the challenges and importance of conserving mountain gorillas. Ian has had 35 years of experience working with these “gardeners of the forest”: he was a research assistant to renowned zoologist Dian Fossey, served as Ambassador for the UN Year of the Gorilla 2009 and even taught Sigourney Weaver to grunt like a gorilla for the film, “Gorillas in the Mist.”
Although these incredible great apes are thought to bring over $3 million a year to Uganda through ecotourism, gorillas are still hunted for bushmeat, tourist souvenirs, and traditional medicines. Although Ian experienced silverbacks as being calm and friendly when not under threat, there are still misconceptions worldwide that gorillas are violent, King Kong-like creatures, and this contributes to their misuse at the hands of people. Through his research, active conservation and outreach efforts, and role as an international spokesperson for gorillas, Ian hopes to change public attitudes towards these animals, and protect them in perpetuity.
To help protect great apes, visit www.4apes.com.
To read more about the intricate ethical and biological connections between human and great apes, visit http://www.monkeybible.com/, and discover Mark Laxer’s novel approach to evolution vs creationist debates.
Photo Credit: Digit the Gorilla, photo by Dian Fossey, the National Geographic Archives http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/07/archive/fossey-gorillas-1981/dian-fossey-text