Silverback Mountain Gorilla Enjoying a Snack

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The thoroughly-majestic and ever-threatened mountain gorilla lives in one corner of the world, at the intersection of three countries: Uganda, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  With only about 700 left in the whole world, the mountain gorilla is only of the most endangered of all primates. Although a few other primate species have even smaller populations, the gestation and development time for any ape (gorillas, orangutans, chimpanzees, bonobos, gibbons and humans) to reach maturity and have their own children is so long and the human hunting or infection threat is so high, that they risk going extinct due to the mere fact that it takes so long for them to grow up and humans have almost completely encroached on their habitat.
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I was fortunate enough to be able to take time off from studying wild chimpanzees in the Budongo Forest in the northwest corner of Uganda, to travel to the Bwindi Impenatrable Forest in the south to spend the mandated maximum allotted time with these magnificent creatures – 1 hour.

One of the best books ever written and later a film about the author’s life, both entitled, Gorillas In The Mist, describes the struggle of famed researcher and wildlife conservationist, Dian Fossey.  When you read the book, please keep in mind you are reading her own notes, and that the film was after her death.