Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Pole Pole Foundation receives much deserved recognition

3 May 2013

Categories: Primates Campaign News

John Kahekwa & HRH The Princess Royal

On the western flank of the Albertine Rift, Mount Kahuzi stands tall and clear above the low clouds in the bright morning sun. This mountain and the surrounding World Heritage Site of Kahuzi-Biega National Park is one of the most significant refuges for Africa’s Eastern Lowland gorilla.

John Kahekwa, nephew of Adrien Deschryver, the first person in the world to habituate Eastern Lowland Gorillas to human visitors and the co-founder of Kahuzi Biega National Park, has dedicated his life to the conservation of these great apes. Working initially as an assistant gorilla tracker and working his way up to become the park’s Chief Gorilla Habituation Officer, John founded the Pole Pole Foundation  in 1992. His Foundation has since weathered the consequences of the Rwandan genocide and the frequent subsequent periods of unrest resulting from the actions of various warring factions, and today John remains dedicated to finding ways to encourage local communities to support the park and the conservation of the gorillas, with the ongoing support of Born Free over in recent years.

This dedication in the face of frequent adversity has been recognised this week as John has been presented with the prestigious Whitley Award by HRH The Princess Royal at a ceremony yesterday. We hope that John will be able to visit us in Horsham before he travels home, but in the meantime we want to extend our congratulations to one of Africa’s unsung conservation heroe’s

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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