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‘Gorillas’ presentation set

By Staff | Mar 25, 2011

At 7 p.m. on April 7 author and conservation biologist Amy Vedder will present “In the Kingdom of Gorillas” in the Byrd Auditorium at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown.

When husband and wife Bill Weber and Amy Vedder arrived in Rwanda to study mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey, the gorilla population was teetering toward extinction. Poaching was rampant, but it was loss of habitat that most endangered the gorillas.

Weber and Vedder realized that the gorillas were doomed unless something was done to save their forest home.

Over Fossey’s objections, they helped found the Mountain Gorilla Project, which would inform Rwandans about the gorillas and the importance of conservation, while at the same time establishing an ecotourism project – one of the first anywhere in a rainforest – to bring desperately needed revenue to Rwanda.

Vedder’s book introduces readers to entire families of gorillas, from powerful silverback patriarchs to helpless newborn infants.

An expert in conservation and ecology, Vedder is senior vice president for conservation at The Wilderness Society in Washington, D.C. She has worked for more than 30 years in dedication to wildlife and wildland conservation.

The presentation is free and open to the public.

No tickets or reservations are required. It is part of a monthly series of “Conservation & Community” public lectures held at the NCTC.

For more information, please contact Mark Madison at 304-876-7276.

– From staff reports