This picture of a lowland Gorilla is one of my favorite shots I have taken this year. I remember watching him for over an hour mesmerized by his presence.
Gorillas are the largest of the living primates. They are ground-dwelling herbivores that inhabit the forests of Africa. Gorillas are divided into two species and (still under debate as of 2008) either four or five subspecies. The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human,2 and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.
Gorillas live in tropical or subtropical forests. 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 2225 to 4267 m (7300-14000 ft). Lowland Gorillas live in dense forests and lowland swamps and marshes as low as sea level.
Both species of gorilla are endangered, and have been subject to intense poaching for a long time. Threats to gorilla survival include habitat destruction and the bush meat trade.