Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka, Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), was recently featured in an article detailing her incredible story protecting Uganda’s mountain gorillas. This article coincides with the release of her new memoir, Walking with Gorillas: The Journey of an African Wildlife Vet, which chronicles Dr. Gladys’ life as a wildlife veterinarian, her work promoting public health among human communities living alongside gorillas, and the lessons and milestones that she and her team achieved along the way.
Humans and mountain gorillas are both primates, meaning that some pathogens can cross the species barrier between the two populations if we’re not careful. To keep both populations safe and promote coexistence, Dr. Gladys has made CTPH’s mission to implement a One Health model that safeguards the health of the people and mountain gorillas who share the ecosystem in and around Uganda’s Bwindi Impenetrable National Park. With approximately 1,000 mountain gorillas left in the wild, Dr. Gladys’ work is critical to helping them survive; tourism and excursions into the forest by local communities often put people in close proximity to the gorillas. One of CTPH’s major achievements is ensuring that no known COVID-19 infections have been transmitted from humans to any mountain gorillas within Bwindi since 2020.
We are thrilled to see Dr. Gladys’ amazing career and life story featured so prominently and hope that reading more about her and CTPH will inspire you to support their mission and begin (or continue) your own journey to defend wildlife and our planet.