“In the Kingdom of Gorillas” portrays the lives of primates and their interactions with humans in the same enchanting and enlightening detail as such classic works as Dian Fossey's “Gorillas in the Mist” and Jane Goodall's “In the Shadow of Man.” It also offers a searing account of the events surrounding Fossey's murder.
When Bill Weber
and Amy Vedder arrived in Rwanda to study mountain gorillas with Dian Fossey, the gorilla population was teetering toward extinction. Poaching was rampant, but it was loss of habitat that most endangered the gorillas. Weber and Vedder realized that the gorillas were doomed unless something was done to save their forest home. Over Fossey's objections, they helped found the Mountain Gorilla Project, which would inform Rwandans about the gorillas and the importance of conservation, while at the same time establishing an ecotourism project — one of the first anywhere in a rainforest — to bring desperately needed revenue to Rwanda. “In the Kingdom of Gorillas” introduces readers to entire families of gorillas, from powerful silverback patriarchs to helpless newborn infants. Weber and Vedder take us with them as they slog through the rain-soaked mountain forests, observing the gorillas at rest and at play. Today the population of mountain gorillas is the highest it has been since the 1960s, and there is new hope for the species' fragile future even as the people of Rwanda strive to overcome ethnic and political differences.
and Amy Vedder, of the Wildlife Conservation Society, have devoted more than twenty-five years to the cause of conservation in nearly thirty countries in Africa and around the world. They live with their two sons in New York's Hudson Valley.