A TV appeal for Fauna and Flora International to save the mountain gorilla has raised £25,300, five times more than any previous conservation appeal made through BBC Lifeline.
The oldest international conservation charity enlisted wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough to make an impassioned TV plea in August to highlight the dwindling number of mountain gorillas.
Richard Turner, director of fundraising at the charity, said: "The producer told me that TV conservation appeals didn't have a good track record, so we decided to broaden the picture to show how conserving the mountain gorillas' habitats benefited local people to add to people's perception of conservation."
Cascaid Marketing assisted the broadcast with a direct mail campaign that encouraged supporters to send postcards to friends. They carried a photo of an injured gorilla, next to the strapline: "I thought I'd send you a gorilla ... while there are still a few left".
The agency said the campaign's success was boosted by the use of members to promote the appeal. Almost half the respondents gave by text message, a previously untapped medium for the charity.