The Karisoke Gorilla Research Centre has just announced that they have appointed the first ever Rwandan national, Mr. Felix Ndagijimana, as its new director. Felix will take over from Katie Fawcett, who has been holding the position for some time.
Karisoke, founded in 1967, is the legacy of the late Diane Fossey who was murdered for her zealous and outspoken defense to protect the mountain gorillas back in the 70s and 80s. Felix has been with Karisoke since 2008 as deputy director and is therefore no stranger to the challenges at hand. Notably was the announcement time with what would have been Diane Fosseys 80th birthday on the 16th of January.
Conservationists in Rwanda and the gorilla triangle also comprising Uganda and Congo DR have hailed Felixs appointment as a groundbreaking advance of incorporating local expertise and opening the door for a wider participating of East Africans in the field of conservation. Said a regular source last evening from Kigali: We have known Felix for a long time and it is an honour, not just for him as a professional and person, but for Rwanda overall, to see him rise to the top of this most important gorilla conservation NGO and research organization. It will be something making news around the world. Congratulations to him.
This correspondent too extends his warmest congratulations to Felix, and until we meet again at Kwita Izina 2012.
Visit http://gorillafund.org/page.aspx?pid=382 for more details on the work carried out by the Diane Fossey Gorilla Fund Internationals Karisoke Research Centre.