It’s usually band mate Harry Judd on the drums but the jungle beat over mountain gorillas is being banged by McFly bassist and King of the Jungle Dougie Poynter.
After an incredible trek to see wild gorillas with WWF, Dougie has helped launch a mountain gorilla adoption to protect the last two remaining populations of this species.
“Threatened by loss of habitat, poachers’ snares and risk of disease, the critically endangered mountain gorilla is found in the border areas of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Dougie’s trip saw him visit two different mountain gorilla groups, firstly in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda and secondly in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, Uganda.” WWF say.
IGCP is a joint initiative of the African Wildlife Foundation, Fauna and Flora International, and WWF. IGCP’s mission is to empower the people of Rwanda, DRC and Uganda to jointly manage a network of trans-boundary protected areas that the mountain gorillas depend on. Together IGCP and WWF have supported projects such as environmental awareness and education initiatives, promotion of sustainable livelihoods and reforestation projects.
Dougie said, “Coming to Africa to see gorillas in their natural habitat has just been incredible, an experience I’ll never forget. I’ve learnt so much about the conservation efforts to protect the gorillas, their habitats and the local communities who live alongside them.
“One thing that stands out from my visit is just how big and powerful these amazing creatures are – but at the same time just how fragile they are. Not everyone’s lucky enough to see wild gorillas first hand, but by adopting one with WWF you can do your bit to help protect them.”
The gorillas’ home is right in the middle of a densely populated area with high levels of poverty and conflict. This means that there are many complex challenges facing mountain gorillas. More than a million people live and depend on the forests near to where the animals live. Unfortunately, the need for land in order to grow food has greatly reduced the gorillas’ forest habitat. Poaching and capture for the illegal wildlife trade adds further pressure. WWF is part of a coalition called The International Gorilla Conservation Programme (IGCP) that works with local communities to help protect the mountain gorilla.
Money raised from WWF’s mountain gorilla adoption will help fund training and equipment for anti-poaching teams, as well as supporting work being done to reduce the difficulties that can arise when gorillas and people live close by.
The latest addition to the adoption range is available from www.wwf.org.uk/adoptagorilla for as little as £3 per month.