The Aspinall Foundation’s Latest Ground Breaking Conservation Initiative Sees Young Gorillas Enjoy First Steps To Freedom.
The Aspinall Foundation, a world leading conservation charity based in Kent, has announced the release of a young family of gorillas, into the forests of Gabon, where they can finally live wild and free.
The group, now enjoying their first explorations into the wilderness of the Batéké Plateau National Park, comprises impressive male silverback, Rafa and two females, Dikélé and Mbwambe.
Both Rafa and Dikélé were orphans, rescued by Lekedi Parc as infants, after their parents were slaughtered by poachers. Mbwambe, was born at the Foundation’s Port Lympne Reserve in Kent.
In a trail blazing move, The Aspinall Foundation, headed by Damian Aspinall, introduced the young gorillas to each other back in 2016, hoping that they would soon bond and form a family group.
In 2017, the group were airlifted from Lekedi Parc to The Aspinall Foundation's Gorilla Island, where they have been monitored by the conservation charity’s team of experts.
Damian Aspinall said: ‘It’s been quite a journey for this group of gorillas, from their initial introductions, to moving onto Gorilla Island – which has been their home for the last year or so, to now experiencing their first tastes of real freedom on the mainland. The group has bonded well and Mbwambe and Dikélé are particularly close, whilst Rafa has matured into a strong silverback and takes his responsibilities as protector and head of the group very seriously.’
Last month, after careful assessment, the group was given access to the mainland which will become their forever home.
Damian added: ‘This is another great success story for The Aspinall Foundation. Finally, these wonderful animals can enjoy a life in the wild, free at last.’