2017 Members' MeetingCategory: Organisation, Issue 54
The meeting of Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe in Krefeld Zoo was a resounding success, both for the Board, who got to know new members and touched base with old ones, and for the participants, who were privileged to listen to interesting talks and enjoy the warm hospitality of the zoo. However, the highlight for our organisation was a surprise cheque of € 2000 for gorilla protection, which was handed over by the Zoo Director Wolfgang Dreßen. We thank Krefeld Zoo very much for this generous support of our work!
Peter Zwanzger organised the event perfectly. We commenced on Saturday afternoon with a welcome address from Wolfgang Dreßen and short updates from our projects. This was followed by a talk by Johannes Refisch, head of the UN's Great Ape Survival Partnership (GRASP) on "The conservation of apes: challenges and chances". After this talk, it was time for a coffee break.
Subsequently, curator Cornelia Bernhardt presented a history of apes in Krefeld Zoo and Yvonne Baur introduced her work on gorilla personalities. After a short introduction to our first regional group - Ostwestfalen-Lippe - Johannes Refisch gave a second talk entitled "Apes - Their Fate is Ours", including many photographs of apes he had taken during his travels. During dinner, which - like the coffee break - we were able to enjoy in the open air in front of the meeting room, we had opportunities for many interesting conversations.
We were also very lucky with the weather on Sunday morning, when we enjoyed our guided tour through the ape houses. We are very grateful to Benjamin Harr and Daniel Schmidt, who answered all questions patiently and had a lot of interesting stories to tell.