These gorillas were not discovered by man until 1902. They live high up in the mountains, in the heart of the jungle, in three African nations. They are gentle, vegetation-eating giants. Bad behavior by mankind has threatened them for a long time. Despite being surrounded by some of the most unstable human populations on the planet, their numbers are slowly growing. In 1989, only 620 survived. Today, the population stands at 880.
Gentle giants living on plant life, these prehistoric-looking beings cannot see very well, depending instead on their powers of hearing and smell. In 1900, over one half million of them lived throughout Africa and Eurasia. Today, only 30,000 survive worldwide. Africa’s Black Rhino have been nearly destroyed by man. In 1970, 70,000 existed. Today, only 5,000 survive.
The world’s tallest animal is also among the gentlest. Female giraffes give birth to their babies while standing up which means newborn must survive a roughly 4-foot fall to the ground. The challenges do not let up for the young as only half of all giraffe babies live past their first year. They are very social beings, living in groups that are never territorial. Again due to loss of habitat primarily, Africa’s giraffe population has declined by one third over the past 30 years.