The largest gorilla family in the world is starting the perilous journey down to feed on the fresh shoots of bamboo. They run the risk of being caught in illegal snares and Cantsbee, the dominant silverback, will have his work cut out keeping them all safe, especially those closest to him.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Rwandan volcanoes a young gorilla has been deserted by her mother. She turns to her silverback father for guidance and protection, but is he up to the job?
In Uganda, Marembo the teenage silverback has come of age. He has lived 15 years under the watchful eye of dominant silverback Rukina but now feels it is time to make the break on his own.
Gorillas are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Africa. The eponymous genus Gorilla is divided into two species: the eastern gorillas and the western gorillas, and either four or five subspecies. They are the largest living primates. The DNA of gorillas is highly similar to that of humans, from 95–99% depending on what is counted, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the chimpanzees and bonobos.
Gorillas' natural habitats cover tropical or subtropical forests in Africa. Although their range covers a small percentage of Africa, gorillas cover a wide range of elevations. The mountain gorilla inhabits the Albertine Rift montane cloud forests of the Virunga Volcanoes, ranging in altitude from 2,200–4,300 metres (7,200–14,100 ft). Lowland gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level, with western lowland gorillas living in Central West African countries and eastern lowland gorillas living in the Democratic Republic of the Congo near its border with Rwanda.
Mountain Gorilla - Kingdom in the Clouds (Part 2)
Mountain Gorilla In Rwanda
Cincinnati Zoo kills gorilla to save child
(CNN) Zookeepers shot and killed a rare gorilla on May 28, 2016 after a 3-year-old boy slipped into its enclosure at the Cincinnati Zoo, triggering outcry over how the situation was handled.
If they had to do it again, they would respond the same way, the zoo's director said Monday.
Cincinnati Zoo Director Thane Maynard said he stands by the decision to kill 17-year-old silverback Harambe to save the child. The boy went under a rail, through wires and over a moat wall to get into the enclosure, according to the zoo. Footage shot by a witness shows Harambe dragging the child through the water as the clamor of the crowd grows louder.
Zookeepers shot the 450-pound gorilla with a rifle, rather than tranquilizing him. The brief encounter sparked widespread Internet outrage over the decision to shoot Harambe and whether the child's parents were to blame for failing to look after him.
But those second-guessing the call "don't understand silverback gorillas," Maynard said in a news conference. And, they were not there when it was time to make the crucial decision.
"That child's life was in danger. People who question that don't understand you can't take a risk with a silverback gorilla -- this is a dangerous animal," he said. "Looking back, we'd make the same decision. The child is safe."
'We made a difficult call'
The family was visiting the zoo on Saturday when the boy slipped away and entered the enclosure. Kimberley Ann Perkins O'Connor, who captured part of the incident on her phone, told CNN she overheard the boy joking to his mother about going into the water. Then, suddenly, there he was, being dragged by Harambe.
The unidentified boy was taken to Children's Hospital and released Saturday evening. The family thanked the zoo in a statement through a public relations firm:
"We are so thankful to the Lord that our child is safe. He is home and doing just fine. We extend our heartfelt thanks for the quick action by the Cincinnati Zoo staff. We know that this was a very difficult decision for them, and that they are grieving the loss of their gorilla. We hope that you will respect our privacy at this time."
Some suggested the boy's parents should be held criminally responsible for the incident. An online petition seeking "Justice for Harambe" earned more than 100,000 signatures in less than 48 hours.
"This beautiful gorilla lost his life because the boy's parents did not keep a closer watch on the child," the petition states.
Mountain Gorilla - Last Stand Of The Silverback King (Part 1)
Titus the gorilla king faces the biggest challenge of his life. He's lived longer and sired more offspring than any other known gorilla, but his time as a great leader may be coming to an end. The mighty silverback has a little orphan in his care - and both their lives hang in the balance.
In Uganda, young silverback Marembo is back with his raging hormones and desire to be dominant - he's sure to shake things up a bit.
A baby of the Humba mountain gorilla family chomps on leaves and twigs, balancing unsteadily on its feet. Virunga is home to around a quarter of the world's remaining 880 mountain gorillas, but volatility in the park means they're regularly in danger.
Mountain Gorilla - Last Stand Of The Silverback King (Part 2)
The Humba family's namesake—the dominant silverback male—shows off his striking coloring.
Mountain Gorilla - Safe In Our Hands (Part 1)
This edition follows the plight of some of the youngest and most vulnerable of the mountain gorilla population. Includes the two young orphans whose mothers were callously murdered in execution-style killings, the young female battling with new emotions, and the new gorilla king struggling to keep hold of the group he fought so hard to win.
Discover how they cope in this exploration of what the future holds for the remaining last few hundred mountain gorillas.
Mountain Gorilla - Safe In Our Hands (Part 2)
MOUNTAIN GORILLA takes us to a remote range of volcanic mountains in Africa, described by those who have been there as "one of the most beautiful places in the world", and home to the few hundred remaining mountain gorillas.
In spending a day with a gorilla family in the mountain forest, audiences will be captivated by these intelligent and curious animals, as they eat, sleep, play and interact with each other. Although gorillas have been much-maligned in our popular culture, viewers will finally "meet the legend" face to face, and learn about their uncertain future.
The Mountain Gorilla (Gorilla beringei beringei) is one of two subspecies of Eastern Gorillas. There are two populations. One is only found in the Virunga volcanic mountains of Central Africa, within three national parks: Mgahinga, in south-west Uganda; Volcanoes, in north-west Rwanda; and Virunga, in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The other is found in Uganda's Bwindi Impenetrable Forest. Some claim that the Bwindi population in Uganda is a third subspecies, although no formal taxonomic description has been published.
A census taken in 2003 has shown a 17% increase in population size since 1989. There are now a total of 380 gorillas in 30 social groups in the Virungas and a total of about 320 in Bwindi. However, the Mountain Gorilla continues to be considered critically endangered on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species. It faces an extremely high risk of extinction in the wild due to habitat loss, poaching, human disease, and war. All in all there are only around 700 Mountain Gorillas left.
Explorer : Battle for Virunga
Explorer: Battle for Virunga Exploring the war-torn site of Africa's oldest national park, where animals are caught in the crossfire between rebel groups, militias and Western oil companies. Virunga National Park is over 3,000 square miles and home to some of the world's most incredible creatures. Its vast terrain includes snow-capped mountains, volcanoes, savannah, wetlands, and the immensity of Lake Edward. It's a treasure of biodiversity, but the threats are constant. British journalist Justin Hall is on an incredible journey through Africa’s Virunga National Park— where a clash between exploitation and conservation threatens to destroy the park’s gorillas.
Baby Mountain Gorilla, Virunga Mountains, Rwanda
BBC Wildlife Specials Gorillas On the Trail Of King Kong (Part 1)
Follows the 3 newly discovered gorilla sanctuaries in northern Congo, in search of the true nature of the lowland gorilla - uncovering as tangled a web of romance and friendship, jealousy and innocence as any human soap opera might contrive.
Virunga National Park Gorilla
BBC Wildlife Specials Gorillas On the Trail Of King Kong (Part 2)