Gorilla welfare in sights of Eloise, 10

Eloise meeting a gorilla

Eloise meeting a gorilla - Credit: Archant

A TEN-YEAR-OLD from Welwyn Garden City has started a year-long mission to help release a “fun and cheeky” animal family back into the wild.

Eloise Atkins 10 is doing year long fundraising to release gorillas back into the wild

Eloise Atkins 10 is doing year long fundraising to release gorillas back into the wild - Credit: Archant

Eloise Atkins, of Ingles, first discovered her love for gorillas while watching a wildlife show, and she now hopes to send them back home.

Talking about her favourite animals, Eloise said: “They are fun and cheeky.

“There are not many of them left and they need to stay in the world.”

The 10-year-old has set up a Just Giving page and is hoping by December to have raised £2,000.

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She has already managed to collect more than £300.

So far this year she has completed a sponsored silence and a four kilometre walk.

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“People just do one thing normally but I wanted to do a big thing,” she added.

The youngster, who goes to Homerswood School, Kirklands, WGC, was invited to visit the Port Lympne Wild Animal Park, in Kent, after keepers saw the work she was doing on Facebook and Twitter.

While there she got the opportunity to visit the family of gorillas that her money will go towards releasing – and she even got to feed them.

She said: “It was really fun.

“But one had a big stick and he kept trying to trip me up with it.”

The money she raises will be going to The Aspinall Foundation.

The foundation works to save rare and endangered animals and release them back into protected areas in the wild.

This month Eloise will be selling toys at car boots and she is also selling home-made Victoria sponge cakes.

Her father, Stuart Atkins, said: “I think it is brilliant, especially because of her age.

“She is giving up a big part of her time to raise money.”

Eloise has lots of different ideas to keep generating funds, including taking a bath in a tub of beans and a disco.

Laura Atkins, her mother, said: “We are so proud of her and fully support what she is doing.”

To donate to Eloise’s fund visit www.justgiving.com/Eloise-Atkins

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