Wednesday, December 14, 2005

MOUNTAIN GORILLAS - Gentle king of the jungle needs help

Scotsman.com has a feature on David Cowdrey, "WWF-UK's head of press, when he got first-hand experience of the terror that gorillas can inspire when he met a rather cheesed-off male in Rwanda in 2003".
David says: "I was filming a family group, a mother and her baby, when a big male exploded out of the bushes and charged towards me. I was petrified, but thankfully had the presence of mind to get down on the ground in the most submissive position I could.

"He stomped up to me and walked around a few times grunting, but once he had realised I didn't pose any threat to his authority he wandered off and left me unharmed, and with a very surprising video."
[...]
There are two species of gorilla in Africa. The most well known is also the most threatened. Only about 700 mountain gorillas - which live in the highlands of Rwanda, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo - survive in the wild, while about up to 100,000 lowland gorillas are still thought to survive across central Africa. But one sub species of the lowland gorilla, the cross river gorilla, is in dire straits, with just 250 left.