Palace Of The Apes
Palace of the Apes shows the behind-the-scenes work of the captive Western Lowland Gorilla conservation program at The Aspinall Foundation's Port Lympne Reserve. This photo story shows the lengths that are gone to keep the gorillas healthy and strong to prepare them for eventual release into their native habitat in Africa.
The Western Lowland Gorilla is Critically Endangered. Due to the effects of the bush meat trade, habitat destruction, and disease, there are now only 95,000 left, which is 90% less than 10 years ago. From their reserves in England, The Aspinall Foundation has fought the decline in gorilla numbers by successfully releasing more than 50 individuals, which have in turn had another 30 babies. Some of these individuals were born in the wild but due to losing mothers from the bush meat trade, they were brought to captivity to mature until they are ready to return to the wild. They are released into protected reserves in Gabon and Congo which cover over one million acres.
On the surface it may seem that these gorillas are being kept in zoo-like conditions, however, The Aspinall Foundation is leading the way in captive conservation thousands of miles from the forests of Congo and Gabon. This is particularly true in the case of this great ape facing great challenges.