Instagram has become turned out to be a game changer in the conservation of the endangered mountain gorillas, great apes that are endemic to Africa.
Launched last year by Visit Rwanda, gorilla gram is a campaign that aims to raise awareness about the critically endangered mountain gorillas in Rwanda and to support their conservation efforts. The campaign works by using Instagram photos of people with gorilla emojis in their captions or comments.
When you use the gorilla emoji on Instagram, Visit Rwanda’s GorillaGram bot automatically detects your post and sends you a direct message, thanking you for supporting the campaign and asking if you would like to donate to the Gorilla Fund. The Gorilla Fund is a non-profit organization that works to protect mountain gorillas and their habitat in Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
By using your Instagram photos and engagement, Visit Rwanda hopes to spread the word about the importance of conserving these amazing creatures and the urgent need to protect their natural habitats. They also hope to encourage people to visit Rwanda and experience gorilla trekking for themselves, which helps to generate income for the local communities and support conservation efforts.
It should be noted that the whole world is left with only about 1,000 mountain gorillas that live in two separate populations; the Virunga Region and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. The Virunga Region spreads over three countries, Rwanda, Uganda, and The Democratic Republic of Congo. In each country, the mountain gorillas are protected in areas gazette as national parks; Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda, Mgahinga Gorilla National Park in Uganda, and Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
To implore tourists and locals to vitalize the protection of these endangered primates, Rwanda, known as the land of a thousand hills has looked at the global photo-and-video-sharing social media platform Instagram with a project dubbed GorillaGram.
In addition to the GorillaGram campaign, Rwanda has also taken significant steps to protect its mountain gorillas, including creating national parks, establishing conservation programs, and working with local communities to develop sustainable tourism initiatives. These efforts have helped to increase the population of mountain gorillas in Rwanda from just 250 individuals in the 1980s to over 600 today.
Here’s How it works:
Follow @visitrwanda on Instagram.
Direct message the account a photo of yourself holding up a sign with a message of support for gorilla conservation. The sign should say something like “I support gorilla conservation in Rwanda” or “Protect Rwanda’s gorillas”.
In return, Visit Rwanda will create a unique GorillaGram for you, featuring your photo with a gorilla in the background, along with a message about the importance of gorilla conservation in Rwanda.
You can then share your GorillaGram on your own Instagram account, spreading the message about gorilla conservation to your followers.
If you’re interested in supporting the GorillaGram campaign and helping to protect these incredible animals, simply use the gorilla emoji in your Instagram posts and keep an eye out for the direct message from the GorillaGram bot. You can also learn more about the campaign and the Gorilla Fund on Visit Rwanda’s website.