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About Mountain Gorillas

A PERCENT of all profits from the sale of Silverback Pale Ale go to the Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF).

MGCFThe MGCF has been a longtime benefactor of funds from the sale of Thirsty Planet's Silverback Pale Ale. Monies from the beer’s sales are helping to build the new Ruth Keesling Wildlife Health and Research Center in Uganda. Thirst Planet also partners with the MGCF on the annual Austin Gorilla Run each January, the MGCF’s primary annual fundraiser.

Silverback Pale Ale is available in sixpacks of 12-ounce bottles and 15.5-gallon kegs.




The Mountain Gorilla Conservation Fund (MGCF) is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the highly endangered Mountain Gorillas in Africa, their habitat, and working with the people around the National Parks. We have been doing this ever since Dian Fossey asked for help back in 1983. MGCF is undertaking several projects to achieve the goal of saving these gorillas from extinction.

In 1987, only 248 mountain gorillas lived in the wild, there are now over 880 living in the wild. By providing a partnership of business, wildlife conservation, and community development, MGCF addresses the single biggest challenge facing preservation of these animals today; helping people and communities in developing areas grow and prosper without destroying precious habitat or the mountain gorillas, who call it home.


For much more info on mountain gorillas, please check out: http://saveagorilla.org

The Austin Gorilla Run is a fun run with a difference. All proceeds go to helping the mountain gorillas in Africa.

An outline of our History and the current Fundraising Plan

Dr. Dian Fossey asked Ruth Keesling for help in 1983. Since Dian’s murder in 1985, Ruth and the MGCF have kept that promise. She started with 248 known mountain gorillas to be alive and today there are estimated to be 880 in the wild.
These animals are not seen at zoos, but only in the wild. Since we are their closest relatives, we need to help them.

The locals set snares in the National Park to capture deer or duiker (their food source), but the gorillas also get caught in the snares.
If the gorilla are not tended to, they will die from the snare wounds, poaching and diseases.

In response to the need to protect the gorillas, Ruth Keesling started a project called, “Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project”. In 1986, Dr. Jim Foster was the very first veterinarian to go to Rwanda and work.
As it expanded, more Veterinarians were installed on location. The entire program was very basic and in great need of supplies.

Ruth then started the Wildlife Animal Resource Management program at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
This department teaches local Ugandan, Rwandan, Tanzanian, Kenyan and Congolese to become qualified as park rangers or they can continue on to become Veterinarians.

This is the first of its kind for Africa and over the years, the department has become the fastest growing in the University.
The current building is no longer large enough to house the number of veterinary students.

Today, we are answering the call for action and now expanding the facility to become the Ruth Morris Keesling Center of Wildlife Health and Medicine to house the WARM Department. This will be a first of it's kind for Africa's wildlife.
Scheduled to open in June 2012. This new facility will be teaching the local Africans to become qualified in wildlife health and management or they can continue on to become full Wildlife Veterinarians.

Two building dedicated to laboratory research of infectious wildlife diseases. Each building will house nine labs or eighteen in total.
Two large lecture halls with seating for 48 students.

In the lower section we are constructing a Bio Hazard Level 1 facility which will house wildlife infectious diseases. The uniqueness of this facility is the samples are studied in the research laboratories right up stairs. Again, first of its kind for Africa.
Ruth Keesling, and a friend

Dian Fossey’s final journal entry:
"When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future.”


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