Mountain Gorilla - Grand Prize Winner
The mountain gorilla lives only in central Africa. Near extinction, only some 700 remain. One of the greatest threats to its existence continues to be man's encroachment on the gorilla's habitat. With continued destruction of the rainforest, gorillas like this silverback, must move to higher elevations in search of food. This colder climate increases their mortality rate due to illness (only 50% of their babies survive). As I came face-to-face with this magnificent creature, I could see that he understood that I meant him no harm. Hopefully, through continued education and awareness, his trust in man will not have been misplaced.