|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|This magnificant male gorilla lives at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo in Colorado Springs, CO. I took this handheld shot through glass, adjusted contrast, USM, cropped and re-sized for the web.|
Little was known about the life of gorillas in the wild until the publication of The Mountain Gorilla: Ecology and Behavior (1963), a pioneering study by the American zoologist George B. Schaller, who observed the animals for several years. His work was followed by that of another American zoologist, Dian Fossey, who studied and lived among the mountain gorillas from 1963 until her death in 1985 at the Karisoke Research Center, which she had established in Rwanda in 1967. Gorillas, contrary to legend, were found to be shy and amiable creatures, usually living in groups of 5 to 15. A typical band includes a silverback, 1 or 2 subdominant males, several mature females, and young. Most of the young males are driven out at maturity and may form all-male groups or loosely attach themselves to other bands. A silverback defeated by a male challenger thereafter leads a solitary life.
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