The Wandering Gorillas

The Wandering Gorillas "Enhanced Edition"

By Dr Alan Goodall

  • Release Date - Published: 2012-07-09
  • Book Genre: Nature
  • Author: Dr Alan Goodall
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The Wandering Gorillas "Enhanced Edition" Dr Alan Goodall read online review & book description:

In many ways gorillas are the most spectacular of all wild animals. They are enormous, mysterious and secretive, they have uncanny resemblances to ourselves and their aggressive displays can be both noisy and terrifying. 
Alan Goodall, a biologist, had the good fortune to conduct the first study to compare two populations of gorillas that have become habituated to man.
For eight months he lived in a camp among the Virunga volcanoes of Rwanda, where Dian Fossey had just started her pioneer studies. It was here that he caught his first sight of the rare mountain gorillas and experienced their nerve-shattering charges. His observations of these superb animals, their social habits and their often-tragic interactions with the people who surround them make absorbing reading.
However, perhaps Alan’s most dramatic experiences, and the ones which contribute a new insight to these mountain giants and their relationship with man, were in Zaire (now Congo). During the troubles that followed independence from Belgium in the 1960’s, one time hunter Adrien Deschryver, fought to preserve the gorillas of Kahuzi-Biega and won acceptance by the government for the reserve he had established. The Zaire government finally upgraded the status to a national park in 1970. 
Over several years  Deschryver had partially habituated two families of gorillas to observation and close contact with human beings. This habituation process made possible the author's almost daily study of one of those families - the one led by the silverback (named Casimir by Deschryver) who was later to become world famous in Anglia Television's film ‘Gorilla’
This book builds an enthralling picture of gorillas in their forest home: how they find their food and what they eat, how they behave with each other, how populations differ in habit and, above all, how they are now dependent upon, and yet threatened, by man.

This book was first published by Wm. Collins in 1979.  It has been completely re-edited for this electronic version in 2012 - with minor corrections and several additions made in the light of subsequent events during the following three decades. 

An Epilogue is also now included to explain these.

Two videos and many photos have been added for this multimedia version.

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Posted Reviews

  • The Wandering Gorillas

    By Rick LoBello
    If you are fascinated by stories about Africa and gorillas and have not had the opportunity to read Dr. Alan Goodall’s classic, “The Wandering Gorillas” originally published by Collins in 1979, a new greatly improved and highly recommended IBook version is a must download for all serious conservationists and Africa travel readers. Goodall’s story is now illustrated with numerous, never before seen original photographs from his many years in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The iBook includes fascinating photo galleries throughout plus nicely edited video clips. The multi-media treasure trove of stories and images makes for a great read when downloaded onto an I-pad. Goodall worked with Dian Fossey at the Karisoke Research Center and was appointed the Center’s first director in 1989 following her murder in 1985. His book includes valuable information and insight not only about the critically endangered mountain gorilla, but also about the endangered Grauer’s gorilla, the largest of the five subspecies of gorilla. There are some important messages here for all conservation programs. One in particular is the difference in approach and attitude between Dian Fossey and Alan Goodall towards conservation. While Fossey fell in love with 'her' gorillas it is obvious that the Goodall family fell in love with the people of Rwanda and Congo - and their beautiful National Parks as well as the gorillas. Goodall stresses how important it is to include the local people in all Conservation Management plans - especially those whose lives are affected by the creation of protected areas. In this he describes how he learned so much from his pygmy tracker Patrice in Kahuzi - who he describes - not as a poacher as Fossey would - but as a forest hunter who has now lost his home and family livelihood. Local people also need help - as well as the gorillas - in any well balanced conservation plan. A new Epilogue reveals some startling information that Goodall discovered when he was asked by the World Wildlife Fund to conduct a survey of all the eastern gorilla populations in 1979. In areas where gorillas had been found in 1959 he reveals that “hardly a tree could be seen from horizon to horizon.” Understanding the history of this part of Africa and what has happened to gorilla habitat over the past hundred years is important to conservation efforts currently underway. Anyone with a sincere interest in the Congo and Rwanda should make Goodall’s work a must read.

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