Photo in the News: Gorilla on the Rise

Picture of eastern lowland gorilla
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February 4, 2005—A male eastern lowland gorilla surveys his domain in the Democratic Republic of the Congo's Kahuzi-Biega National Park.

The Wildlife Conservation Society announced last Thursday that an isolated population of these rare gorillas has managed to survive in the African park, despite living among poachers and rebel armies. The credit goes to a band of park guards, according to the New York-based society.

More than 75 percent of all eastern lowland, or Grauer's, gorillas are believed to live in and around Kahuzi-Biega. A year-2000 census put their numbers at 120 to 130 in the park's mountain highlands. A recent census of the same area counted 168.

The census itself could be considered an act of courage. Five years ago rebels killed a survey team of ten, and last May census takers had to flee the park due to rebel fighting.

—Ted Chamberlain

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