Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.
Forty years ago this December, poachers killed a friend of mine - a young silverback known as Digit. I had been working with Dian Fossey in Rwanda for over a year at that point, studying the families of mountain gorillas whose trust she had slowly gained. She had watched Digit grow up from a bundle of mischievous fluff as an infant to a strapping young silverback. Once he got to know me, Digit would come over and sit by me during rest periods - his choice - so it is fair to say this was a mutual friendship. His death was a turning point in both my life and Dian's. She created a charity - the Digit Fund, which in the UK is now The Gorilla Organization - to help protect the gorillas. I am proud to be the Chairman of the Trustees, and am doing the Great Gorilla Run (again) to help continue this work. We are now helping some of the same communities that in the past turned to poaching for a living, training them to grow organic vegetables and educating their kids for a better future - one that doesn't endanger the gorillas or their forest habitat.
If you could chip in the price of a round of drinks, you will be helping us to help some of the poorest people on Earth have a better life in ways that do not impact negatively on forests that we now understand are essential to preventing dangerous climate change. Check out my TEDx talk on how apes and elephants are among the most important #GardenersoftheForest.
With thanks to Dr Richard Wrangham for this 1977 shot of Digit examining my Hypericum staff (maybe wondering why I haven't eaten the bark yet - note the twisted finger that gave him his name). This was long before the 7m rule was introduced to reduce the risk of disease transmission, but even then, it was the gorillas who approached us, not us seeking close proximity to them.
Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity. So it's the most efficient way to donate - saving time and cutting costs for the charity.