The gorillas running every year in London’s street has helped in the conservation of the species, says Jillian Miller, director of Gorilla Orgaization that puts on the annual 4.3 mile (7 kilometre) Great Gorilla Run.
This year’s event is special, according to Miller, as the number of gorillas in the wild has increased from 650 to around 800. They’ve also been able to raise £150,000 this year.
“These days you can’t save species by putting fences. You have to work with communities,” Miller says about the organisation’s effort of working with the African communities.
Alexandra Desousa, an anthropologist researching on apes and a second-time runner, says she participates for fun and to raise awareness about the declining species.
“You can’t understand people without understanding apes,” she says.
TV’s Bill Oddie, also a conservationist present at the race, vouched the run to be “one of the best fundraising conservation events, which is visually great to look at.”
Ana Vega, a spectator at the Waterloo Bridge, as the gorillas passed, also says that the race is a “fun idea to raise money and promote a cause.”
As Miller puts it: “Every mile you walk is absolutely worth it, and it makes a huge difference.”