2:00pm Saturday 24th March 2012
By Harry Hogger
A PEDAL-powered method of raising awareness of endangered gorillas has gone on show near Dorchester.
Assistant principal at Kingston Maurward College Andy Daw joined students to rev up the bike-powered cinema used by Dorset based charity Gearing up for Gorillas (G4G).
Their efforts generated a fifteen minute film showing the plight of mountain gorillas that are indigenous to Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Linda Nunn, from the G4G charity, led the demonstration for the animal welfare and conservation students at the college near Dorchester.
G4G has been working to raise funds for six years and has so far raised more than £45,000, while £100,000 has also been pledged to the cause from generous donors.
The money has helped sponsor wardens’ wages, uniforms and trucks in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, supporting the work of the rangers who protect the threatened gorillas.
Funds also went to opening an orphan facility in the national park where seven gorillas were slaughtered in 2007 to leave youngsters homeless. Three further orphans have since also been homed at the centre and are in the process of being rehabilitated so they can be introduced back into a family group.
Humans pose the biggest threat to gorillas as they are susceptible to disease and infection passed on from tourists and locals, can become trapped in snares set for other animals and are seeing their habitat eroded by the huge charcoal burning industry in their native areas.
After its visit to Kingston Maurward, the pedal powered cinema will now be on its way to Africa, with the rangers at Virunga preparing to take it out to remote schools and communities to show them conservations films about the gorillas’ diminishing population and educate them on how they can be protected.
Linda said: “The rangers cannot wait to have the cinema arrive so they can begin their environmental education work within the communities of the National Park.”
For more information call Linda on 01725 553149 or visit www.g4g.co.uk.
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