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ATLANTA (AP) -- Actress Sigourney Weaver says orphaned gorillas desperately need a permanent rescue and rehabilitation center that's currently being built in the Congo.

Weaver was joined Saturday by field scientists from Rwanda and the Congo at Atlanta's Woodruff Arts Center to talk about the center, which is a project of the Atlanta-based Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund and several other organizations. Weaver says the project is "very demanding and ambitious."

Fossey, a Californian, made researching and rescuing the African gorilla population her life's mission. Weaver played Fossey in the 1988 movie "Gorillas in the Mist" and is honorary chair of the fund.

Construction of the Gorilla Rehabilitation and Conservation Education Center began in February, and it is set to open in March.