Dr. Anthony Rose, President of the Biosynergy Institute and Director of
Conservation for the Gorilla Foundation, has been in Cameroon since mid-November assessing two projects and supporting the production of a documentary film. We will bring you regular reports.|
November 22nd ReportGreetings from Cameroon --
click any image for a larger view!!
We have arrived safely and are hard at work. The teachings about gorillas and their forests, about Koko's Kitten and the importance of preserving apes and not eating them for bushmeat have been going very well. More than 400 students have taken these lessons in the urban school and in the village near the forest at the Mefou National Park.
Today Kerry Bowman and I joined Angelica Agwara, the environmental educator, at the Government Bilingual Practicing High School to meet the school Principal and discuss the continuing expansion of these remarkable teaching efforts. We watched the nearly 4000 students at the school as they finished their classes and began their after school activities. Nearly 100 of the children, ages 10 to 15, waited patiently to climb into the van and ride to the Yaounde Zoo. This would be their first visit to the facility to see gorillas and other primates, after having learned about apes and their predicament in Cameroon. Dr. Bowman joined a group of 20 children in the van. On route the students were so elated they began to sing -- a lilting happy song acapella ... "Koko, Koko, Koko ... Gorille, Gorille, Gorille ..." It brought tears to our eyes.
We then walked with the students about the Zoo as they commented on how the apes seem so much like people. One young girl exclaimed -- "this one resembles Koko." After a discussion about bushmeat with ex-gorilla hunter, Albin Djebi, we heard a wide range of views about what should be done for gorillas. Many children feel they should be preserved in their habitat. Some fear that they would be better off in zoos because life in the forest is dangerous for them. On the topic of eating apes, most would surely not do it, and will pass the message to their families and friends. But some still say that "meat is meat". There remains so much work to be done.
Chris Mitchell, Director of Cameroon Wildlife Aid Fund (CWAF) oversees administration of the project. Chris sees this as a vital element of a massive conservation program which must be developed in the Cameroon capital, and expanded across the country. We are doubly committed to help Angelica, Chris, Albin, and the dedicated staff to test this model program and put it to work to enable the people of Cameroon to preserve their fabulous natural heritage.
Above is a photo (click for larger version) of Dr. Bowman, Angelica Agwara, and myself preparing for the day's teaching.
We are over joyed to be here, and hope that our friends and supporters in North America and through out the world will keep in touch with our efforts while we travel across Cameroon during our month here.
Tune in for the next installment -- in 2 or 3 days.
Best wishes, Tony Rose .... 22/11/00
Anthony L. Rose, Ph.D.
If you wish to support these vital new projects you are invited to make a donation to the WILDLIFE PROTECTORS FUND. Community aid professionals and corporate and non-profit leaders wishing to partner in the expansion of these programs are invited to contact Kevin Connelly, Director of Development for the Gorilla Foundation at (650) 216-6450 or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE BIOSYNERGY INSTITUTE
P.O. Box 488
Hermosa Beach, California 90254