Friday, February 14, 2014

The 800 pound Gorilla in the Room

David Greer, one of the participants in the WWF program, has been working with mountain gorillas for over 20 years and currently leads the WWF great apes program. He has worked with Jane Goodall and throughout Africa to protect animals ever since he left Kansas. He is an extraordinarily passionate and generous person and a great storyteller. His tales of his time in Rwanda before and after the 1994 genocide are amazing to hear him tell. Here he is imitating his favorite silverback male.

It was an amazing experience to see these magnificent creatures in the wild. We spent an hour with a family of 13 gorillas, watching them play, eat, and snooze. They didn't seem to mind us, but we probably all look the same to them anyway.

Looking in to the eyes of a gorilla is a unique experience. You see all the expression, emotion and intelligence that feels so familiar, but at the same time so wild and different.

Jane got along with the gorillas very well. At one point, a huge male silverback walked right past her, within inches. She said, "I could have reached out and touched him, if I was crazy."

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