Friend a Gorilla Launch at Serena Kampala Hotel

The Friend a Gorilla website (www.friendagorilla.org) first of its kind, was launched during a dinner at Serena Hotel in Kampala on Saturday.

And now with a click of a mouse on a computer, millions of internet users around the world are now able to track the endangered mountain gorillas in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in south-western Uganda.

This, according to tourism state minister Sarapio Rukundo, will promote gorilla tourism and conservation.

The website has sections like geo-tracking, where one can track gorillas using the Global Positioning System co-ordinates the gorilla trackers will be provided with regularly. Every subscriber to the website pays one dollar.

To kick off the dinner, a chopper flew three people wearing gorilla suits over Kampala city.

The chopper raised excitement in the city centre, as residents waved in response to the gesturing masked people.

Also launched last week was Nshongi, the largest group of habituated gorillas comprising of 36 members with four silver-backs.

A total of six Hollywood stars arrived in the country and trekked Bwindi, days prior to the website launch.

The stars included Jason Matthew Biggs, Kristyn Wu and Melissa Wu.

With them were Simon Curtis, Rachel McDonald, Matthew Kurte and Tertius Bune.

During the dinner, some of the stars shared their experiences on gorilla-tracking in Uganda.

Wu said: “This is an incredible country. The gorillas and the faces of the local people we saw were beautiful. We are going to continue with the gorilla campaign in Los Angles,” she said.

She said she was mesmerised by what she called the “perfect balance of love and pride” in Uganda.

Biggs said the gorilla befriending campaign was the most amazing idea he had ever heard.

“We are going to be ambassadors of mountain gorillas in the US.”

The Chief of Defence Forces, Gen. Aronda Nyakairima, acting British High Commissioner Philip Mani, Belgian ambassador Mare Gerdop, and Uganda Wildlife director Moses Mapesa attended the dinner.

Mapesa said the wildlife authority would organise a gorilla festival next year.

Original Article By Gerald Tenywa and Conan Businge

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