Success for the Gorilla Cup 2015!
Being involved alongside the Ebo Forest Research Project (Cameroon) since 2013, La Palmyre Zoo has again decided to support their annual football tournament whose main objective is to mobilize the local communities, and specially young people, around the conservation of wildlife and gorillas, during the school holiday period. In the summer months indeed, students go back to their village to assist their parents in their daily tasks. Boys sometimes go hunting with their fathers while girls help their mothers sell bushmeat.
If the football tournament allows young people to have fun, this is also an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of preserving their natural heritage thanks too various actions carried out by the Club des Amis des Gorilles (CAG) during the competition.
This year the village of Logndeng hosted the tournament from July 31 to August 1. Prior to the matches, players and supporters were reminded of the Gorilla Cup goals, which led to a long discussion about hunting and wildlife protection.
Dozens of people from the four villages participating to the competition attended the victory of the Mosse village team who became the 2015 Gorilla Cup champion.
Local communities were also invited to listen to traditional animal storytelling narrated by the olders. The storytelling were carrying a message about the need to protect the forest and its wildlife. The four best storytellers received prizes.
A beauty contest to elect Miss and Mister Gorilla Cup was also organized. Participants were asked to express their attachment to nature through a speech. The two winners called on their peers to renounce hunting and to get involved in sustainable agriculture, while asking all communities to pay more attention to the gorillas who are living in Ebo forest. The week-end ended with a BBC film screening on gorillas and chimpanzees.
La Palmyre Zoo will continue to support the conservation of the Ebo western lowland gorillas, in the same way it has been funding the conservation of Cross river gorillas (the more threatened subspecies) in Nigeria. The zoo also wishes to expand its support to the conservation of the two other sub-species of gorillas (Grauer and mountain gorillas), thus becoming one of the only zoo to support the preservation of the four recognized subspecies of gorillas. An objective that should be reached next year.