Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Sanctuary becomes 21st PASA Member
The Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Sanctuary, inaugurated in 2001, has been named the newest member of the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA). The facility’s initial goal was to improve the well-being and safety of adult captive gorillas kept in a research facility over the previous two decades. A naturally-forested enclosure was built for them on a remote island of the Republic of Gabon, north of Loango National park.
In 2006, the Fernan-Vaz Rehabilitation Centre was begun with the goal of maximizing the reintroduction potential of young confiscated gorillas orphaned by Gabon’s illegal bushmeat trade. The rehabilitation centre consists of an on-site quarantine facility and a separate island, removed from human exposure, where the gorillas are busy acquiring important skills needed for future autonomy in the wild. Together, the sanctuary and the rehabilitation centre constitute the Fernan-Vaz Gorilla Project (FVGP).
Fernan-Vas becomes the second PASA member sanctuary in Gabon, joining Projet Protection des Gorilles (PPG) Gabon.
PASA, which is based in Portland, is comprised of 21 member sanctuaries in 12 African countries, which rescue and rehabilitate chimpanzees, gorillas, bonobos, drills, and other endangered primates.
PASA is extremely proud to welcome the Fernan-Vas sanctuary into our family, said Anne Warner, executive director of PASA. The overall FVGP mission to contribute to the protection of both wild great ape populations and their habitat through education, scientific research, law enforcement, advocacy, capacity-building, community involvement, educational and low-impact tourism, is a good fit with PASA’s aims.
Fernan-Vas was admitted into PASA following a site inspection and a vote of the PASA advisory council. “The staff at the Projet Gorille Fernan-Vaz (PGFV) are very happy that we have joined the PASA family said Veterinarian and sanctuary manager Nick Bachand. A sanctuary’s daily operations can be challenging in the field. Having access to a diversified network of expert is therefore invaluable. This comes at a great time for us as we are just about to expand our local community outreach program. PASA’s support will make a significant difference in helping us making this more successful. We are very pleased, it is a great motivational booster for us”