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Just a pile of apes


stuny
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During our fourth gorillia trek (the seond in Rowanda) we happened upon a large family of mountain gorillas, with all 25 members present. Here several huddle around the silverback alpha male. You can see plenty more pix in the Uganda & Rwanda photo galleries on our site.

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Horst Dieter - Thank you, and it is extreemly rare to see all the members of a large family in one place.

 

Soleforeal & big - thank you.

 

Jean-Luc - Thank you. R8/DMR/80-200 at perhaps six meters.

 

Paul - Thank you. Time spent near the gorillas is limited to about an hour. Barbara thinks they are mumbling among themselves, "Just ignore them and they'll go away in about an hour."

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Stuart -- "perhaps six meters" -- that's very close !

 

As docile as these creatures might seem, I'm not sure I would feel safe that close unless there was some sort of security separation between your spot and theirs.

 

Nevertheless, a lovely image and a memory I'm sure you'll cherish the remainder of your days. It would have to be a very special experience to see this group gathered together in this way.

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RPS - Thank you. Actually, the park rangers want you to remain at least 7 meters away to reduce the chances of spreading diseases to the gorillas -- If you even have a cold you are not permitted to go on a trek. Mountain gorillas are very peaceful vegetarians and generally only threaten when they feel threatened. They will bluster and charge, but rarely do anything else. Consequently, before each trek visitors must go through a briefing which includes how we must behave. Four families in the Impenetrable Forest in Uganda and seven families in the Volcanoes national Park in Rwanda have been habituated to humans -- They won't run away at our approach. We always felt safe, even when we were within half a meter from one or two (they approached and we could back-up no further). They are gentle, peaceful and curious.

 

Virgil, Ece, Mike & Stefan – Thank you.

 

Ivan – Thank you. Good idea.

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DES -

 

Thank you and sorry to hear about how you look after a night out. You can go gorilla trekking. Check the trip notes section of our site for descriptions of Uganda & Rwands, and then check the photo gallery for the Uganda & Rwanda photos.

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Excellent one, Stuart, you caught them in the open. To those that voice reservations about the distance- these animals (?) are basically non-aggressive, far more friendly than than the average street-shot subject. The Silverback might -just- give a display, but I believe there is not one instance of a human being hurt by a wild Gorilla. The distance is attempted to be kept to prevent them from contracting our diseases. King Kong is just a Hollywood fabrication.

 

Now Patricia is telling me rather forcefully that this is something we should repeat in the not too far future...:(

Edited by jaapv
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Al - Thank you. Interestingly, I recall no odor at all. Likewise for the chimpanzees we walked with. In the case of the gorillas, being purly vegetarian does reduce the potential for odors. The chimps we walked with were living on purely a vegetarian diet, too. However, I did expect an oder similar to equine and bovine, but there was none. Perhaps this is due to their frequent grooming of one another.

 

Jaap - Thank you. You are correct, of course, about fears of spreading our diseases to the gorillas (we had top have specific innoculations and a physician's note to be near the chimpanzees in their rescue island), and about no record of himans being injured by gorillas. Unless you want to go back, keep Patricia away from Barbara's trip notes and my photos on our site.

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