On Sunday 20 February, Stanley Johnson reached the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro and waved the Gorilla Organization flag in celebration. Stanley who turned 70 in 2010, climbed the 19,341ft mountain to raise much-needed funds for the gorillas.
On his descent from the summit of the highest freestanding mountain in the world, Stanley sent the following message to the Gorilla Organization’s head office in London.
“I have just picked up mobile reception on my way down from the top of Kilimanjaro, So this has been a signal success in more senses than one! I will send a fuller account later this week with a photo or two, but this is just to let you know that as chairman of the Gorilla Organization I was proud to wave our banner at the top of Gilman's Point (height 5681m), one of the three official Kilimanjaro summits, at 10am Sunday February 20th. Thank you all for your wonderfully generous support in sponsoring me. No more mountains to climb today”.
Stanley’s climb took place at a highly critical time for gorilla conservation. Earlier this month two major attacks took place in the Virunga National Park in eastern DR Congo, home to half of the remaining mountain gorilla population. The vicious attacks left four park rangers and five members of the Congolese National Army dead, threatening the security of the gorillas’ forest home.
“As Chairman of the Gorilla Organization my main concern is raising funds for gorilla conservation. Colleagues on the ground in Africa work incredibly hard to protect the gorillas and their habitat and they need all the financial help we can give them, especially during these turbulent times.” Says Stanley.
As part of his training to get fit for the climb, Stanley cycled around London on a Boris Bike. “Boris very kindly bought me a subscription to the new Boris Bike scheme when I turned 70 last year,” says Stanley.
Stanley has raised more than £18,000 in sponsorship so far. To make a donation please go to http://events.gorillas.org/stanleyjohnson