At LEX Reception, our mission is to hear more. By listening to each other and collaborating to have a greater impact than we could as individuals. Part of this is our giving pledge, in which we donate 1% of our monthly revenue to conservation organizations working to protect the unique species on our planet.
For the month of May, we have chosen to donate to Gorilla Doctors, a non-profit veterinary project which monitors the health of mountain and eastern lowland gorillas. They deliver life-saving treatment and care in the wild when an individual gorilla is ill or injured.
Mountain and eastern lowland gorillas are among the world’s largest primates, found in two separate populations spanning national parks in Rwanda, the DRC, and Uganda. Mountain gorillas are listed as endangered on the IUCN’s red list and eastern lowland gorillas are critically endangered. Both subspecies face threats from habitat loss, disease, poaching, and the impact of war in their environment.
Gorilla Doctors was born in 1986, after Dian Fossey’s wish to establish a veterinary clinic in Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park to care for the rapidly diminishing population of mountain gorillas. At this time, there were only about 250 mountain gorillas left in the area. One of the most significant threats was injury and death from getting caught in poachers’ snares. Fossey knew hands-on veterinary care could prevent these losses.
Gorilla Doctors began with a single American veterinarian in Rwanda. Since then they have grown to more than 10 Rwandan, Ugandan and Congolese veterinarians working in all three countries. The mountain gorilla population has rebounded to just over 1,000 individuals. While this is an extraordinary conservation success story, the total population size is still fragile and each individual life is essential to their long-term survival.
Their Hospital is the Forest
When the veterinarians observe an injured or ill gorilla, they first monitor the condition to see if it resolves on its own. If the gorilla’s condition deteriorates, the next step is to administer supportive medication remotely via dart. As a last resort, when the condition is life-threatening, the veterinarians will sedate the individual gorilla and administer treatment where they are. The gorillas are never removed from the wild and the veterinarians are always surrounded by the gorilla’s family while they work. Thanks in part to their incredible dedication and work, the mountain gorilla is the only great ape with an increasing population in the wild.
They also conduct research on gorillas, particularly looking at diseases in the gorilla population that have spread from a human source. This provides valuable information about the transmission of certain human diseases and allows Gorilla Doctors to study long-term health trends.
How our donation helps
Our donation will support the daily operations of the Gorilla Doctors team in Rwanda, the DRC, and Uganda. We are so proud to be contributing to the purchase of medical supplies and monitoring equipment for the veterinarians and enabling the continuation of their conservation work.
“We are so honored to be chosen as the May charity for LEX Reception and very grateful for their generosity. From all of us at Gorilla Doctors, including the gorillas, we say thank you!”Amy Bond, Chief Marketing Officer for Gorilla Doctors.
To learn more about Gorilla Doctors’ work and support their treatment efforts, take a look at their website. For more information about LEX Reception’s commitment to giving back, take a look at our past projects.