In 2008, ICCN, the Congolese Wildlife Authority, urged Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International to find a solution to the growing number of infant Grauer's gorillas confiscated from poachers. Thus was born the idea of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center. Built in a remote forested area of eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, GRACE works to rescue, rehabilitate, and reintroduce orphaned Grauer's gorillas back into their native DRC habitat. GRACE also works alongside local communities to ensure gorilla survival in the wild.
The Gorilla Song
Pupils at Muyisa Primary School in Kasugho, Democratic Republic of Congo sing a song about the gorillas living at the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center near Tayna Nature Reserve. The song was performed in honor of the arrival of a new gorilla at GRACE on May 19, 2014. The 4-year-old gorilla is named Ihirwe, but the Congolese call her Muyisa, which means "chance" and is also the name of this primary school.
Team GRACE Spotlight:
Aldegonde Saambili, Gorilla Caregiver
Aldegonde is a specialist in caring for traumatized infant gorillas and has been a surrogate mother for almost every infant at GRACE.