10 years ago today, I volunteered at an event called Hope 4 Apes organised by the coalition Ape
Hope 4 Apes brought approx 1,500 people together in collective interest of our great apes and the challenges they face from experts such as:
Biruté Galdikas, leading primatologist and expert on orangutans...
Jane Goodall DBE renowned chimpanzee expert and primatologist...
Host Ian Redmond OBE, mountain gorilla expert and primatologist (who worked alongside Diane Fossey, the third of Louis Leakey paleo-anthropologist’s musketeers) and many more.
Hosted by Sir David Attenborough, the evening was rich with experiences in the research and conservation of great apes.
We heard about the impact great apes face due to human conflict, the bushmeat and wildlife trade, the loss of their habitat, climate change, the threat of the palm oil industry and more.
The evening finished with a panel discussion which was chaired by Mark Carwardine, renowned zoologist, presenter and photographer.
It’s been ten years since these wonderful people came to share their personal encounters, their fears, and the reality facing our relatives.
Ten years on, I have had the privilege of observing some of our cousins but not with ease. The shock of deforestation and distinct lack of what is left for them remains with me. I think about what has been achieved thanks to those above and not mentioned. I think about how far we have to go, and how much time we have left to save the precious life we have affected.
I hope this serves as a reminder of how much work it takes to overcome human impact on our wildlife. We rely on those above, but we cannot leave it up to them. We must play our part too. Please support them in protecting our close relatives.