Gorilla Doctors

July 31, 2012

When the Mountain Gorilla Veterinary Project (MGVP) partnered with the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center, everyone agreed it was a match made in heaven. MGVP brought two decades of experience providing medical care to wild mountain gorillas in Rwanda, Uganda and the Congo, and UC Davis brought much-needed administrative support, internationally recognized scientific credibility, and financial resources to bolster the program. But, there was a catch: everyone struggled to convey the relationship between the two entities, and the name for the partnership—Mountain Gorilla One Health Program—proved such a mouthful, it only served to confuse things. The complexity made it harder to raise funds—especially given the crowded field of organizations working on gorilla conservation. Staff for the program reached out to Resource Media for help figuring out how to more effectively talk about their combined efforts.


After talking with staff and supporters in Africa and throughout the US, reviewing existing materials and facilitating a brand development workshop, Resource Media urged the program to focus its brand on its unique niche as the only nongovernmental group providing hands-on medical care to highly endangered mountain gorillas in the wild. Trustees and staff jettisoned “Mountain Gorilla One Health Program” and replaced it with “Gorilla Doctors,” a name that perfectly captures the program’s role and value-add. In a crowded nonprofit space, Gorilla Doctors stands out as an international veterinary team that delivers medical care to highly endangered mountain gorillas in the wild.


Gorilla Doctors is in the process of developing a new graphic identity to support the new brand. In the meantime, staff and trustees report the new approach has provided much needed focus and clarity to their work.