North Georgia mountain's Gorilla Haven -- the only privately-owned gorilla sanctuary approved by the National Association of Zoos & Aquariums -- is in great financial need right now.
The above video shows one of Gorilla Haven's residents -- Oliver -- thoughtfully eating his apple snacks.
This amazing facilty, built and maintained by Jane & Steuart Dewar, offers a home to gorillas that were born and raised in zoos, but who were ultimately labeled 'misfits.' You can read more about Gorilla Haven in this great article from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "A Misfit's Sanctuary."
Please read this poignant letter from Jane Dewar and consider helping in some way:
Dear Gorilla Haven Friends and Supporters,
THANK YOU for your support after our first email appeal in December. We sincerely appreciate everyone who donated and even the supportive emails from people who couldn't afford to donate funds, but offered kind words. Both Steuart and I are working 7 days a week to make sure Gorilla Haven succeeds and we need your help now more than ever.
While we negotiate with the zoo world, which is struggling with their own economic crisis, our costs continue to rise as our income declines. Fund-raising is now a necessity if Gorilla Haven is to continue. We're asking for your help - whether you live locally or internationally, there's something you can do, if you're willing....
Here are some ideas:
- Perhaps you can donate again? Every donation helps, and 100% goes straight into operating costs, which we have stripped down to the essentials.
- Perhaps you can spread the word about the fund-raising tours and/or our website?
- Perhaps you can hold a bake sale or garage sale to benefit Gorilla Haven?
- Perhaps you can offer to find grant money or help us find sources of grants? Grant writing is a full time job, and we simply don't have the time or the experience!
- Perhaps you can try to raise funds or awareness for Gorilla Haven on Facebook, Twitter or other internet sites? I already have a Facebook account, as well as a Facebook group "Friends of Gorilla Haven" - but we need help getting the word out!
- Perhaps you can contact the media to see if they'd be willing to do a story about Gorilla Haven? We have some stories coming out, but media like PEOPLE magazine don't think we're worthy of a story, since we only have "two gorillas." A producer from the Ellen Degeneres Show called, but never called back, and even Animal Planet has expressed an interest, but nothing has happened. The more people who inquire about us, the better.
Whatever you can do, it will be put to the best use here. With the world struggling, it may not seem that important to care about a couple of gorillas in North Georgia. But Gorilla Haven is so much more than that. With your help, we can continue to help save an endangered species, while showing the Power of One Person to make a difference.
Jane Dewar, Founder of Gorilla Haven
For more information, please visit: Gorilla-Haven.org