In 2010, the I-SITE team launched iGorilla, the first iPhone app with the sole purpose of supporting the plight of Africa’s endangered mountain gorilla. Since its release the app has told the amazing stories of Eastern Congo’s gorillas and highlighted and supported the work of the staff in Virunga National Park. The app was a big hit and was even featured on the BBC website home page.
The habitat of the remaining 720 mountain gorillas borders three countries – Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Unfortunately the region has been a war zone frequently in the last few years and the situation has been especially volatile since the Rwanda genocide in 1994. Many of the brave rangers who patrol the park and protect the gorillas have been killed in recent years. Our app along with the Virunga National Park website has been a great help in raising awareness. Emmanuel De Merode the Park Director and his staff blog almost every day to iGorilla app with stories, photos and videos.
On Sunday, July 8, much of Virunga National Park was overrun by rebel units. With rebel troops bearing down on Virunga National Park headquarters at Rumangabo, the decision to evacuate all ranger families had been made. Rangers need to continue their work of protecting the mountain gorillas, and a refugee camp must be built and maintained for their families. Emergency funds are needed to provide proper shelter and a level of sanitation that will prevent outbreaks of cholera and other deadly diseases. Emmanuel and his staff need our help more than ever.
Join us in supporting the park by downloading the iGorilla app. 70% of the $3.99 purchase of the app will go to the Park. Also check out the compelling video that Emmanuel and his staff put together about the park and the current situation.