Top and left: courtesy of Craig Sholley; Right: Courtesy of AWF/IGCP
 IN THEIR WORLD: A gorilla rests with her infant as another gorilla plays in the trees. At right are Annette Lanjouw and Mbake Sivha in Goma, standing on lava after the Nyiragongo volcano eruption of Jan. 21 this year.

Next to chimpanzees, gorillas are the closest living human relatives. Yet, humans have loved, sold, killed, even eaten gorillas. Dian Fossey's popularization of her field work with mountain gorillas in the 1970s "created this global constituency" of support for gorilla research, according to Bill Weber, director of North American programs for the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), Bronx, NY.

There are two species of gorillas, each containing two subspecies. Gorilla beringe includes the eastern lowland gorillas (also called Grauer's gorillas) found in the eastern Congo and the mountain gorillas found in the area of the Virunga volcanoes, which are...

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