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Ted Turner donates $1 million to save endangered gorillas

By the CNN Wire Staff
March 8, 2012 -- Updated 1737 GMT (0137 HKT)
A female mountain gorilla sits in a tree at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest bordering the DRC and Rwanda.
A female mountain gorilla sits in a tree at the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest bordering the DRC and Rwanda.
  • The donation goes to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund, named for the murdered naturalist
  • "Every single gorilla counts," Turner says in making his donation
  • The fund aims to build new field stations and hire new staff in a conflict zone
  • Turner founded CNN in 1980 but is not involved in the company now

Atlanta (CNN) -- Ted Turner has donated $1 million to help save endangered gorillas in eastern Congo, the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund announced.

"We may live on the opposite side of the planet from Africa, but what happens there can and will affect what happens here, and all around our fragile planet," he said Wednesday.

He urged others to donate money to the cause, the Fossey Fund said in a statement.

"It comes down to this: every single gorilla counts; every single person counts in protecting the gorillas; and every single dollar counts in supporting the work to protect the gorillas," Turner said, according to the Fossey Fund.

His donation is aimed at helping to protect Grauer's gorillas in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the fund said.

The subspecies has "received little protection and their numbers are plummeting," the fund said.

The fund was founded by Fossey, the famous naturalist who was murdered in 1985 in Rwanda. The crime has never been solved.

Turner's donation comes as the Fossey Fund works to build three new field stations and hire 30 new staff near the conflict zone in Congo, formerly called Zaire, that is the Grauer's habitat. Armed groups in the area are fighting over natural resources.

Turner, a cable television entrepreneur turned billionaire philanthropist, founded CNN in 1980 but is not currently involved in the company.

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