A local veterinarian is taking matters into her own hands, heading to Africa, and filming gorillas in order to help raise money to protect them. I got kinda intrigued by the idea after looking into it. I never knew that gorillas could get so sick from humans observing them in the wild.
Dr. Scarlett Magda, a veterinarian living in Southampton, is passionate about the plight of the Mountain Gorilla. As George Schaller said, “No one who looks into a gorilla’s eyes – intelligent, gentle, vulnerable – can remain unchanged, for the gap between ape and human vanishes; we know that the gorilla still lives within us.” With this in mind, Dr. Magda is producing a film to inform tourists about the risks they pose to gorillas, and what can be done to minimize these risks while on trekking expeditions. Since the beginning of human culture, it has been recognized that the health of people, animals, and the environment are intimately linked. The common cold carried by humans, for instance, can create deadly pneumonia in vulnerable gorillas, and diseases gorillas carry likewise pose a health risk to humans, especially when standing only an arm’s length away.
Collaborating with Dr. Mike Cranfield, Executive Director of Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project, primatologist Allison Hanes, and filmmaker Billy Zeb Smith, the film should be pretty exciting to make, not to mention cool to watch when completed
With only 800 Mountain Gorillas left, it is critical that we act responsibly to ensure their survival.
Countries filmed will include Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Although the majority of funding has been acquired, the team is looking for financial support to cover travel expenses and permits in order to produce it. If interested in supporting the film, shoot an e-mail to [email protected]. I’m sure she’d be happy to hear from you.