Natalie Portman Treks To Learn About The Endangered Mountain Gorilla
Actress Natalie Portman will be trekking deep into Rwanda's rainforest to learn about the endangered Mountain Gorilla for a special Animal Planet documentary "Saving a Species: Gorillas on the Brink." Natalie, who has apparently been involved in environmental causes from a young age (watch a video of her early green days here), will be accompanied by animal expert Jack Hanna to Congo's Virunga National Park, which is along with Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda one of the last two refuges of this great ape.
According to the African Wildlife Foundation(AWF), the primary threat to mountain gorillas comes from forest clearance and degradation as the region's growing human population struggles to eke out a living, with only about 700 of this most endangered species of gorilla remaining. Other threats include human-induced injuries and illness associated with poaching and war, as well as naturally occurring health problems, says the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project. Gorillas — who share 98% of their genetic make-up with humans — are one of the most iconic wild animals which are endangered, and in this show Natalie and Jack Hanna, TV personality and former director of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium in Ohio, meet with local residents and experts to discuss the plight of the mountain gorilla.
According to the Washington post, the program includes footage from a trek through the region, including the forested areas that are home to the gorillas. The show premieres October 26 at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT on Animal Planet.
Want to show your support to Gorilla conservation efforts or see these amazing animals in their natural habitat yourself? Then why not make a donation, adopt a gorilla or go on a responsible gorilla watching trip, where some of the fee goes towards conserving mountain gorillas.