The Mountain Gorillas of Rwanda

Gorillas are both a wonderful subject and a wonderful success story. Though still at the highest level of endangerment their rebound— though far from complete— I find heartening. From numbers around 200 in the ’70’s their population has steadily climbed to a figure around 1,000 today. It is the most successful conservation model we have, spurred largely by eco-tourism.

Their biggest threats have been habitat loss and of course poaching. Fortunately—or sadly depending on how you look at it— their numbers are climbing largely because they are now worth more alive than dead. To humans, anyway.

All of these images are the result of an expedition to beautiful Rwanda. More specifically, several 3-hour hikes to an elevation of around 9,000 feet to spend 1 hour with the group, followed by another 3 hours of descent. 

It’s important to understand there are only about  20 groups of these amazing beings and only a few are habituated to us. This is their piece of the planet and I am an uninvited guest. Therefore I am always quiet and move slow to respect my host’s space. Always.