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Gorillas are in trouble. They are hunted for meat, sold as pets, and severely affected by habitat loss from expanding illegal activities including mining for gold, tantalum (found in many electronics, like cell phones) and other minerals affect their daily lives. Join the Houston Zoo for our seventh annual Feed Your Wild Life Conservation Gala on October 15, 2014. The evening supports gorilla conservation efforts in Africa through the efforts of two amazing organizations that save gorillas in the wild: Gorilla Doctors and GRACE.

The Gala is SOLD OUT

Thank you so much for your support of the Zoo! The Gala is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Ginger Moon at

Gorilla Doctors

Saving a Species One Gorilla at a Time
Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda


The Gorilla Doctors are dedicated to saving the lives of critically-endangered mountain and Grauer’s gorillas through healthy care. Their international team of veterinarians is the only group providing these animals with direct, hands-on care in the wild. With only 880 mountain gorillas left in the world today, it is critical to ensure the health and well-being of every individual gorilla. The land surrounding the national parks where gorillas live is some of the most densely populated in Africa. As a result of intense human activity near and inside the parks, gorillas face numerous threats to their survival, including poaching and habitat loss. The Gorilla Doctors team monitors the health of gorilla groups to ensure the early detection of disease and injury. When gorillas suffer from human-induced or life-threatening trauma or disease, the team stages medical interventions to save their lives.

Gorilla Orphans

As a result of poaching and the illegal trade of wild animals, Gorilla Doctors treat and care for confiscated gorilla orphans. Confiscated Grauer’s Gorillas are treated and then moved to the GRACE facility in the DR Congo once stabilized. Gorilla Doctors currently oversees the medical management of four mountain gorilla orphans – Ndeze, Ndakasi, Maisha, and Matabishi – at Virunga National Park’s Senkwekwe Center. Gorilla Doctors also assists all three governments by providing emergency and quarantine care for all gorillas from the moment they are rescued until their transfer to a long-term care facility.



How We Are Helping

Gorilla Doctors recognizes that the health of the gorillas is inextricably linked to that of the entire ecosystem. In addition to providing life-saving care, the veterinary team further protects gorillas by supporting health programs for people and their animals living and working in and around gorilla habitat. The Houston Zoo supports local community health and educational programming for this effort. The Zoo also acts as a resource to secure needed funding for gorilla health, staff training, and outreach and awareness for the Gorilla Doctors program.

180 Susa Group Mother and Baby III 3599

What You Can Do for Gorilla Doctors

Cannot attend the Zoo’s Conservation Gala? You can support the protection of gorillas with as little as a $10 donation. Our goal is to raise $250,000 in support of range-wide conservation programs.



GRACE: Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center

A Future for Gorillas, Built on Community
Democratic Republic of Congo 


GRACE’s mission is to provide the best facilities and care for rescued Grauer’s gorillas in the Democratic Republic of Congo while working alongside local communities to ensure gorilla survival in the wild. Eastern lowland gorillas, also known as Grauer’s gorillas (Gorilla beringei graueri), only live the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo in central Africa. Grauer’s gorillas are highly endangered due to widespread habitat destruction, poaching, and threats associated with the every growing human population. Over the past decade, insecurity in eastern Congo has amplified these threats, making the situation even more dire.


Grauer’s gorillas are the largest subspecies of gorilla, making them the largest primate in the world.They are a close relative of the better known mountain gorilla, but tend to live at lower elevations and incorporate more fruit into their diet. Grauer’s gorillas mainly live in the forests of the Albertine Rift, which is recognized as one of Africa’s most important areas for biodiversity conservation.


How We Are Helping

A symptom of the worsening situation for Grauer’s gorillas is the growing number of orphaned gorillas that have been confiscated by authorities in Congo and Rwanda over the past decade. The Houston Zoo plays a role in offering staff expertise to meet captive husbandry and management challenges for the rescued gorillas being housed at GRACE. The Zoo also supports local community educational programming and offers technical assistance for interactive marketing and website design.

GRACE Gorillas Gala

What You Can Do for GRACE

Cannot attend the Zoo’s Conservation Gala? You can support the protection of gorillas with as little as a $10 donation. Our goal is to raise $250,000 in support of range-wide conservation programs.



What You Can Do at the Zoo

The Houston Zoo supports great ape conservation through many projects throughout the year. Learn more about our conservation efforts, join us at the 2014 Feed Your Wild Life Conservation Gala, or get your community group involved in conservation.

Action for Apes

The Action for Apes Challenge is a yearly contest hosted by the Houston Zoo from January to APE-ril to see which school or community organization can recycle the most cell phones. By recycling old phones with the Zoo you can help protect animals like chimpanzees and gorillas that live in areas where cell phone materials are mined. You can continue to recycle your old cell phones at the Zoo during all months of the year, outside of the Challenge.

How Does This Help Save Animals Like Gorillas?

A material called tantalum is found in almost every cell phone, as well as in laptops and cameras. This metal comes from the ground in Central Africa, which happens to be where animals like chimpanzees, gorillas and okapis live. When the metal is taken from habitats to be used in electronics, the homes of chimps, gorillas and okapis become disrupted and these animal populations decrease.

Action for Apes diagram

If you recycle your old cell phone with us, then the materials in the phone can be reused instead of getting new minerals from the ground in Central Africa. When you recycle your phone at the Zoo, we return it to a company called Eco-Cell that sells the individual parts of the phone so that they can be reused. Any proceeds then go to conservation efforts to save animals in the wild.

2014 Feed Your Wild Life Conservation Gala

Thank you so much for your support of the Zoo! The Gala is SOLD OUT. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please contact Ginger Moon at

Bigger and more exciting than ever, Celebrating Gorillas in the Wild will be October 15, 2014 in our African Forest. This enthralling evening includes fine dining as well as opportunities to support gorilla conservation efforts in Africa through an exciting auction featuring a luxury African safari, Zoo behind-the-scenes tours, and many unique items from Africa.


Join us with special guest and Board Member of Gorilla Doctors, Jack Hanna, as well as members of Gorilla Doctors and the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center.

The PDF below contains all the options for attending this special event.

  Feed Your Wild Life Gala Registration Form 2014

Please make checks payable to “Houston Zoo Conservation”
Mail the completed form and payment to:
Attn: Ginger Moon
The Houston Zoo
1513 Cambridge Street
Houston, TX 77030

Register today – if we receive your reservation by July 1, 2014 you’ll be listed in the invitation!

A Very Special Thank You to Our Sponsors


Conservation Champions

McGovern Foundation

Conservation Heroes

Bobbie and John Nau/Silver Eagle Distributors
Cullen Geiselman and Beth Robertson
The Robert and Janice McNair Foundation/Palmetto Partners, Ltd.
Sybil F. Roos

Friends of Silverbacks

Rick Barongi and Diane Ledder/Diane and Don Kendall
Fox and Monica Benton
Cathy and Joe Cleary
Caran Crooker
Anne and Charles Duncan/Jeanie Kilroy Wilson and Wallace S. Wilson
Julie and Clay Edwards/Paige Jackson and Mike Manley
Annie and Bob Graham
Barbara and Charles Hurwitz/Ann and Stephen Kaufman/Bobbi and Vic Samuels
Randa and Charles Williams

Gorilla Ambassadors

Josh and Mindy Davidson
Sammy and Robin Fleschler
Kat Gallagher
Barbara Goldfield
Memorial Hermann Health System
Suzanne and Bob Nimocks
Toni and Noel Noble/Karen and Jim Johnson
Beverly and Jim Postl
Nancy and David Pustka
Zoo Friends

Gorilla Supporters

Adelaide Biggs
Deborah and Gardner Cannon
Nijad and Zeina Fares
Maria and Rex Grey
Dustin Keele and Chinh Trieu
Harriet and Truett Latimer
Ginni and Richard Mithoff
Tess Peterson
Rob Priske and Elizabeth Tobin
Dr. Gayle Rettig
Sharon Roark
Lillie Robertson
Betty and Jess Tutor in honor of Philip Bahr, Rick Barongi and Randa Duncan Williams
Susan and Austin Young

Special Thanks