Ellen DeGeneres Opens Gorilla Campus in Rwanda

The Ellen Fund celebrated its fourth anniversary by opening the Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund near Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park.

The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund was established in 1978 by the late primatologist and activist Dian Fossey to rescue endangered mountain gorillas.

“Growing up, my hero was Dian Fossey because of what she did to bring awareness to the mountain gorillas,” Ellen said when she announced the news on her talk show on Monday, 31 January.
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Visitors to the centre can expect to witness artifacts from Fossey’s 18 years of living with gorillas, as well as augmented virtual reality activities, according to Rwanda’s The New Times.

“The Ellen Campus represents a huge expansion of our teaching and laboratory spaces, enabling us to not just increase but transform our programs to study gorillas and their critical forest habitat and bring educational opportunities to early-career African scientists and members of the local community,” said Felix Ndagijimana, the Fossey Fund’s director of Rwanda programs.

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The former agricultural property has been transformed into a comprehensive “residing laboratory” with the planting of over 250,000 native plants, as well as the addition of green roofs, water harvesting, and a manmade wetland for wastewater treatment. The endeavor was aided by a number of donors, including Leonardo DiCaprio, who named a theater after his mother, Irmelin, and a computer lab after his father, George.

The Ellen DeGeneres Campus of the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund | ©ellenfund

“The Ellen Campus demonstrates how new infrastructure could be a boon for conservation and species safety,” mentioned Michael Murphy, founder and govt director of MASS Design Group. “With prioritization of native labor for building, furnishings created by Rwandan artisans, and environmental stewardship, the campus will encourage a technology of conservation activists in Rwanda. It additionally indicators to world conservationists new methods to bind ecosystems and communities to 1 one other.”

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