Well, actually, no one should 'own' a gorilla, but my little donation went in with the $500 raised in the Altered Art Obsession and the Artists of Chubbyville raffle to allow us to adopt Umushikirano, better known as Rano, a 14 year-old silverback from Beetsme's group, one of the main groups of mountain gorillas monitored by the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.
And on top of that, I won a wonderful sea mirror with lots of beach glass made and donated by Jeanette Coates. There were lots of great pieces of art up for grabs, and other great artists who donated cash and/or supported the auction on their blog. All for Rano. Thanks especially to Rita Bellanca for coordinating everything and mailing all the prizes out and covering the shipping so that 100% of our funds could be donated. Besides sponsoring Rano, a significant donation was made to Wildlife Direct, founded by Dr. Richard Leakey.
Rano was born in 1992 to Fuddle and has two sisters (Mawingu, 25, Taraja, 7) and two brothers (Bilbo, 28, and Joliami, 19). Both brothers are also lone silverbacks whose current location remains unknown. Rano can be recognized very easily by his nose which has a distinctive cut. His kindness and easygoing demeanor allow trackers to get good photos of him because he seems to always be ready for a photo opportunity.
Rano is now what is known as a lone silverback, in that he has moved away from his natal group. He has been making attempts to form his own group since then. He managed to garner two females to join him for a short period of time but soon lost them to another group that ranges into the Congo border.
DFGFI lost contact with him between 9/06 thru 4/07 but he's back.Rano continues to be monitored and allows a great opportunity for the DFGFI staff to learn more about the fascinating lives of mountain gorillas. Fascinating work that would be!