“INTERNATIONAL”- Limited Edition 250 – Mountain Gorilla, Rwanda.
This portrait was taken from the Mountain Gorillas tour in Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda. This particular gorilla, who some of the local guides called “International”, was known for traveling across the borders of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Republic of Congo, in search of new mates. This can be very dangerous for the gorillas, due to the civil conflict and poaching that has been going on in the area for some time. Mountain Gorillas are classified as endangered, however, through conservation efforts, the mountain gorillas numbers have increased to over 1000 in the world. This trip was one of the most exciting, and memorable photo tours that I have ever been on, and every time I pass by this print in my own home, I am reminded of it and of the fascination of the gorillas.
Mountain gorillas live in forests high in the mountains, at elevations of 8,000 to 13,000 feet, and are found in the corners of Uganda, Rwanda, and the Republic of Congo. They have thicker fur, and more of it, compared to other great apes. The fur helps them to survive in a habitat where temperatures often drop below freezing. They generally live in groups of several females with their young and usually one dominant adult male – known as a ‘silverback’ because of the patch of silver hair on his back and hips.