Philanthropist and environmentalist Ted Turner announced his contribution of $1 million to the Atlanta-based Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International (Fossey Fund), geared toward helping to save endangered gorillas in eastern Congo. At the special event at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Turner also issued a challenge, by urging others to support the gorillas.

Turner expressed pride that the Fossey Fund is based in his hometown of Atlanta (at Zoo Atlanta), and praised the work the organization does in Africa through the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda, founded by Dian Fossey in 1967. The Fossey Fund’s work in Rwanda has led to the mountain gorilla being the only ape species whose numbers are increasing. But gorillas in Congo have received little protection and their numbers are plummeting.

“I’ve been involved in the environmental movement for a long time. And working to protect these wonderful creatures is part of that equation,” Turner said. “When we lose one species – as we do too frequently in our over-crowded, over-polluted world, we lose part of ourselves. I can’t think of a more important effort than protecting our world, our globe, our environment – and that includes protecting those who inhabit it, including the gorillas of Africa.”

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Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.