Gorilla Conservation Coffee pays a premium price to coffee farmers living next to gorillas around Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. Supporting local farmers helps protect the critically endangered gorillas and their fragile habitat.
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Help Ben Save The Mountain Gorillas.
Rangiora Vet Centre Vet, and Director Dr Ben Davidson, who created Online Vet Store, has been interested in wildlife and the natural world since he was a young kid. Travelling through Africa in 1994 for 3 months, from Uganda to South Africa, was the beginning of his fascination and connection with this continent. He has been back twice since then, once to Rwanda in 2014 to see the mountain gorillas in Virunga National Park and again in August 2018 to see them in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest in Uganda.
Both of these trips were part of his MVSc which he completed through Edinburgh University. In the most recent trip he travelled with Prof David Hayman, a world leading researcher in wildlife disease, based at Massey University to western Uganda. This was as part of a 5 year research program investigating disease transmission between humans, domestic livestock and the mountain gorillas in Uganda.
Working alongside Dr Gladys and her team at Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH) he was collating data collected through surveys from local villagers. Dr Gladys was the first vet to work for the Ugandan Wildlife Authority and soon found her passion lay with protecting and ensuring a future for the critically endangered mountain gorilla. She took a high level and broad view and established CTPH in 2004. This NGO monitors the health of the local villagers, their livestock as well as the health of the local gorilla populations. Her team educates villagers about birth control, food and personal hygiene for the purpose of not only improving their health but also to take pressure off the National Park which is home to the gorillas, as well as reduce the risk of passing on disease to these animals.
Dr Gladys has also started Gorilla Conservation Coffee, a social enterprise that helps the coffee farmers bordering the park to make a better living for themselves and their families. The co-op that she formed pays a premium for their organic arabica beans and for every kilogram of beans sold US$1.50 goes back to gorilla conservation.
Dr Ben Davidson has been invited to stay on for the duration of the research project with CTPH and completed his masters in August 2019 with the completion of his thesis. He is looking forward to future work with Dr Gladys and her team and playing some small part in ensuring a future for the mountain gorilla.