When Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka became Uganda's first wildlife vet in 1995 at age 25, the future looked bleak for critically endangered wild mountain gorillas, most of whom live in southwestern Uganda. Now, unlike all other gorilla subspecies, they're showing positive growth, due to Gladys' insight that keeping the gorillas healthy was linked with the health of people in nearby communities. People poach because they are hungry, she told New Scientist in an interview about her book, Walking With Gorillas. It tells the story of how she founded Conservation Through Public Health in 2003 and has spent two decades working on community health, providing seedlings of quick-growing crops and planting trees in gardens so that people don't have to go into the forest for firewood. "As conservation groups, we have to get much more sensitive about the fact that communities have to be doing well before wildlife is to do well," she says. "You cannot conserve wildlife in isolation when the people living next to it are so poor."

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