National Geographic

Photo by @ronan_donovan // Mountain gorilla Urwibutso is a large male silverback. He's seen here strolling through a field that was once part of Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park. Land was converted and cleared in the early 1970s for increased agricultural use. Writer Elizabeth Royte spent time with Urwibutso and recounts her experience in the September article, The Gorillas Dian Fossey Saved. "Later that morning Veronica Vecellio, the gorilla program manager for the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, settles onto a log inside the park, high on a thickly forested, mist-shrouded slope of the Virunga Mountains, and turns her attention to a silverback known as Urwibutso. A frequent wall hopper, Urwibutso is carefully folding thistle leaves before placing them in his mouth. When he turns toward Vecellio, an ebullient woman who studies gorilla group dynamics, she snaps a picture, then zooms in on a wound on his nose. “He fought with another silverback from Titus this morning,” she whispers intently.'' Learn more in the current issue of National Geographic Magazine and follow @ronan_donovan to see more images and stories of mountain gorillas. Also check out the legacy work of Dian Fossey @savinggorillas


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