The Great Gorilla Run
Hundreds of runners, all donned in gorilla suits took to the streets of London this weekend, to participate in the sixth annual, 7km Great Gorilla Run, a charity event to help endangered mountain gorillas. This year's record turnout of 735 people, one for every mountain gorilla alive, aimed to raise $400,000 USD to help preserve the dwindling population of this majestic animal.
The gorillas came wearing tutus, hula skirts and even bikinis. Some brandished tennis rackets, while others whacked their counterparts with huge plastic bananas. Thousands of spectators also came to join the fun, cheering as the gorillas ran past some of England's most famous landmarks, including the Tower of London, St. Paul's Cathedral and the London Bridge. The gorilla suits, while cool to look at are heavy and rather cumbersome to run in, but the runners didn't seem to care - they were just having a good time.
This first Great Gorilla Run, sponsored by The Gorilla Foundation, took place in London in 2003. Since then over 3,000 people have participated in the annual run to help raise over $2million USD for this great cause. The foundation uses the money to not only save the habitats of the gorillas, but also to educate and help the people who live in the areas on how to better uses the resources, while protecting the environment they live in. They also help provide some basic amenities like tap water, so that children in these often impoverished areas can focus on going to school, rather then spending half their day looking for water.
Encouraged by the success of the race in London, the Foundation is starting to organize these fun races in other big cities of the world. In 2007, a Gorilla Run organized in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, raised $100,000 USD. This year the organizers are planning to hold the runs in New York , China and Amsterdam . For more information on this fun event check out http://www.greatgorillas.org
Sources: Telegraph.co.uk, Greatgorillas.org, BBCNews.org