Human interaction with wild gorillas was pretty much unheard of until Dian Fossey's enchanting, but ultimately tragic story was told in the movie, Gorillas in the Mist. The mountain gorilla is one of the most critically endangered, large animal species on Earth. As of January, 2011, there were just under 800 of them in the world. They can only be found in a few protected areas in the Eastern Congo, Uganda, and Ruwanda. These days their best hope may come from the tourist dollars generated by foreigners, who travel to Africa to experience wild gorillas, up close. These intelligent, peaceful, and mostly vegetarian creatures share about 99% of their genetic identity with humans.
I love this video. Partially because it is reminiscent of a scene in Change Agents, my most recent screenplay. The large male patriarch, also known as the silverback, weighs in the range of 400 pounds. In this amazing moment of human-gorilla interaction, the silverback pays an unexpected visit to a tourist camp, accompanied by his wives and their kiddies.
The best part begins just over a minute into the video. It is magical. Enjoy.