Help save the mountain gorillas from losing their paradise

Our Adoption Certificate from WWF
Our Adoption Certificate from WWF

I know I’ve talked a lot about the production lately on this blog. It’s fair to say that as things closer and closer to the premier, the pitch becomes more and more feverish to finish what we’ve started. There is so much to tell, so much to show, and we’re only really scratching the surface.

Every night, and most of every weekend, we are consumed by this effort, which makes it sometimes easy to forget the purpose behind it. Today, however, I’d like to change gears and take a moment and talk a bit more about the mountain gorillas that will benefit from our work.

Earlier this week, I was disheartened to read of the passing of Mishaya, a Silverback Mountain Gorilla, that lived in Bwindi Inpenetrable National Park in Uganda.

Only 28 years old (a gorilla’s average lifespan is 50 years), Mishaya died of a short illness. Mishaya was the only Silverback (mature adult male) in his family of 9. This means that the reproductive ability in that group will be severely restricted until another adult male enters it. Here is a short video of Mishaya among his family, doing what he was born to do.

This is a sad blow to the already critically endangered state of mountain gorillas – of which only 900 remain – so yes, one adult male really makes a significant difference.

The Basilique Performing Arts Company has adopted Ihoho through the WWF Adopt-A-Gorilla Program, and we are asking residents of Second Life to step up to help us fund that adoption. Ihoho represents the future of his species, which frankly, is barely hanging on.

I’ve written extensively about the plight of the mountain gorillas, why we chose to adopt one through Paradise Lost, and how you can help them.

The first response was so encouraging! In just over a week, we had several very compassionate and generous souls step up and sponsor five shows. I fear, however, that this cause has taken a backseat as we get busier and busier. After an first flurry of sponsorship, I’m sorry to say that interest in saving these noble creatures has died down.

I know we’re all busy. I know we have the best of intentions. I appreciate what it’s like to get consumed by my day-to-day routines, surrounded by my comforts, whilst conveniently forgetting the inconvenient challenges that face the threatened treasures of our natural world.

We are their future. We’re all they have.”

So today, I want to renew my appeal to businesses and individuals in Second Life. You can help contribute to Ihoho’s adoption by sponsoring a performance of Paradise Lost. You can be a company, a blogger, a sim owner, a resident – it doesn’t matter, as long as there is a socially-conscious person behind your avatar, with a compassionate heart.

I’ll leave you with this touching video by WWF, featuring Anna Friel, so you can get a better picture of the beauty and dangers facing these majestic animals. As I watch this, it’s hard not to tear up.

Contact meHarvey (Crabsticks Resident) or Syn Wytchwood to see how you can sponsor a performance. If you’d rather just donate to the cause directly – 100% of all funds received by the two gorillas in the Basilique Playhouse will be used to fund Ihoho’s adoption. Here is an landmark that will take you directly there.

Thank you.

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