- Associated Press - Friday, October 30, 2015

ASHEBORO, N.C. (AP) - The North Carolina Zoo’s conservation program has received a $51,460 federal grant to help conserve gorillas in the wild.

The zoo said in a statement Friday that the money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will go toward researching Cross River gorillas, the most endangered type of gorillas in the world.

A team of scientists and field biologists will work to determine patterns that cause parasite infections in the gorillas; determine how diseases found in humans can impact gorillas; establish health and disease threat monitoring protocols.

Zoo Director Pat Simmons says the zoo has been working for almost 10 years to protect the Cross River gorilla population. The conservation department will start implementing practices from the grant in January. It hopes to have all research finalized by December 2017.

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