Congo's gorillas at risk

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This story is based on a radio interview. Listen to the full interview.

Audio Transcript:

CH: we discovered the story of Baby Miza, an orphan, who was rescued by her father, the silverback of this family. Miza and her mother were missing and the father went out into the jungle and brought her home. (You tell the story with beautiful pictures in the book. The father wasn't the only one looking for this baby girl, there were mountain rangers as well.) That's one of the most important part of this book: it shows what the human connection needs to do, the rangers go out every day to try and track the gorillas. They can identify the gorillas by their nose print, which is uniquely identifiable. When Miza was brought home, her sister and brother started taking care of her, she was at the stage of finishing her nursing, but she learned how to eat plants. (The park rangers in Virunga also keep a blog?) Yes and in fact this story has been mainly communicated through the internet. Given the insecurity in Congo, this has become a story about more than just the gorillas. There's armed conflict happening directly in the habitat of the gorillas. And many of the wardens of the park have left their post in self defense. One of the armies that's there in theory have been watching over the gorillas. This is a very fragile ecosystem and the gorillas are very susceptible to any kind of stress so this is a very serious issue. (You write books like this because you say kids have the power to help the gorillas, but is that true?) Well the importance is we are trying. We had a kids gorilla summit as part of the release of this book. The important message is any single individual can't affect change, but as a group you can activate thousands of kids and this is a powerful set of tools. We don't know we'll be successful, but we'll know we tried to do something. If it's successful that we have something to share with the world.