Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center

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Mission Statement

Our vision is a healthy, stable population of wild Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo that is no longer threatened and is a source of pride for the Congolese people.
Our mission is to provide excellent care for rescued Grauer’s gorillas and work alongside Congolese communities to promote the conservation of wild gorillas and their habitat.

Description

The Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center (or GRACE) is the world’s only sanctuary for rescued Grauer’s gorillas. We are located in DR-Congo, in the second-largest tropical rainforest on earth, near the Tayna Nature Reserve,
GRACE nurses orphans back to health and then gives them the chance to be with other gorillas again. The 14 gorillas at GRACE – all orphans – form a tight-knit surrogate family. The ultimate goal is to reintroduce them back into the wild.
More than just a sanctuary, GRACE also works with local communities on conservation education, forest protection, & sustainable livelihoods to help secure a future for orphan gorillas and their wild counterparts and to foster peaceful coexistence between humans & gorillas.
It Takes a Village
GRACE Center was built on land donated by the local community and we work hand-in-hand with them on all aspects of our work.
In order for this project to succeed it needs to be embraced by local communities and ultimately championed by the Congolese. A major focus of our work since beginning in 2009 has been capacity building to help our talented Congolese team make this project their own. In 2016, we appointed our first Congolese Director and our DRC operations are now entirely run by Congolese nationals. We continue to build conservation leadership and skills with a focus on youth and women in local communities.
Importance of Tayna
GRACE Center is located in a remote area next to the Tayna Nature Reserve, a priority habitat for Grauer’s gorilla conservation since around 300 gorillas live there (8% of remaining wild population) along with other endangered wildlife including chimpanzees and okapi. GRACE is the only conservation NGO located in this region and therefore plays an important role in protecting this stronghold for gorillas.

Program Details

We have 4 strategic priorities at GRACE:
1) Gorilla Rehabilitation: Provide life-saving care for gorillas illegally captured from the wild that prioritizes the welfare of every individual and maximizes the possibility for gorilla reintroduction.
2) Gorilla Conservation: Reintroduce orphaned gorillas back into the wild as part of a conservation plan for Grauer’s gorillas and aid in the protection of Tayna Nature Reserve, a key gorilla habitat.
3) Conservation Education: Promote understanding, appreciation, and conservation action for gorillas through education programs for youth and adults.
4) Community Engagement: Assist Congolese communities with finding sustainable solutions for co-existing with wildlife and promoting local conservation leadership.
Primary Issue
Wildlife
Secondary Issue
Land
Address
P O Box 504
Niwot, CO 80544
United States
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