Los Angeles Zoo Spearheads Biodiversity Conservation in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Photo by The World Hopper

In a significant stride towards global wildlife conservation, the Los Angeles Zoo, in collaboration with the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education (GRACE) Center and Rainforest Trust, proudly announces the establishment of the Usala Conservation Corridor in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This initiative was unveiled as part of the World Gorilla Day celebrations held on September 24.

The Usala Conservation Corridor, encompassing 346,000 acres, aims to connect two biodiversity rich regions – the Maiko National Park and Tayna Nature Reserve. This initiative not only amplifies the habitat for the endangered Grauer’s gorillas but also benefits other vulnerable species like elephants, okapis, pangolins, and chimpanzees.

Tommi Wolfe, the Executive Director of GRACE Gorillas, expressed gratitude for the Los Angeles Zoo’s financial and advisory contributions. The zoo’s involvement is instrumental in fostering a community-led conservation narrative where both the wildlife and local communities flourish.

In a unique approach to conservation, the Usala Conservation Corridor project will grant permanent land rights to local communities. In return, these communities will play a pivotal role in sustainable land management, marking a significant step towards economic and environmental justice.

The announcement was made during the “Gathering for Gorillas” event at the Los Angeles Zoo. The event spotlighted the collaborative efforts in gorilla conservation and featured a panel discussion with key figures from GRACE Gorillas and the zoo’s conservation team.

The Los Angeles Zoo’s CEO, Denise Verret, highlighted the multifaceted support extended to GRACE, including financial aid, book sales proceeds, and expertise sharing from zoo professionals. The zoo’s commitment is reflective of a broader vision to harmonize wildlife conservation with the well-being of local communities.

The establishment of the Usala Conservation Corridor is a testament to the power of collaborative efforts in advancing global biodiversity conservation goals. It underscores the pivotal role that zoos, especially institutions like the Los Angeles Zoo, play in fostering a world where wildlife and human communities thrive side by side.

For more information on the Usala Conservation Corridor and opportunities to contribute, visit www.lazoo.org/worldgorilladay.

At CaliforniaZoos.com, we are thrilled to spotlight such monumental achievements and extend our commendations to the Los Angeles Zoo for their unwavering commitment to wildlife conservation. Stay tuned for more updates on inspiring conservation stories from zoos across California and beyond.

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