On Friday 23rd June, Victoria and I will be travelling to our flagship project in Africa, to oversee the eventual release of three young gorillas, including Djala’s daughter Mbwambe, to our habitation island in the Batéké Plateau national park.
The three gorillas will spend around 6 months here, before eventually being released #BackToTheWild.
Victoria and I will accompany and film Mbwambe’s group as they are transported by helicopter from Parc de la Lékédi, where they have spent over a year forming strong bonds with each other, to the habituation island where they will experience their first steps of freedom.
Mbwambe enjoying fruit in Africa
The Aspinall Foundation are experts in the breeding, protection and reintroduction of endangered animals. Our gorilla project is part of a long term conservation plan for critically endangered western lowland gorillas.
Numbers of western lowland gorillas have declined by more than 60% over the last 20 – 25 years because of poaching, habitat loss and disease. We focus on reversing this rapid decline and in partnership with Howletts and Port Lympne Wild Animal Parks in Kent, we have reintroduced over 60 gorillas back in the wild, including gorillas born at the Kent wild animal parks and those rescued from the bush meat trade in the wild.
Most of these gorillas have now formed new family groups and are producing young, with over 30 babies born in the wild.
We have high hopes that Mbwambe, Rapha and Dikélé who have already become a close family group, will breed in the wild and help continue our vital conservation work with this species.
Looking forward to bringing you on this adventure with us. Victoria and I will try to answer as many questions as possible along the way but do bear with us as our signal in the jungle can be tempermental! Don’t forget to tag #BackToTheWild so we can find the messages.
For the first time ever you will be able to follow us in real time on this inspiring journey as we document every step of the way via our social media channels: