There are Silverback gorillas in Uganda that I remember well from an encounter 15 years ago with a 500 lb. male and his harem of four females. I was told by my guide, armed with only a machete and fast feet, to avoid gazing into the eyes of the gorillas. That strategy has always seemed dumb to me with bears, big cats, hoodlums, and so forth, and so from five steps away I peered without animosity at the Silverback. He stood on hind legs with no shoulders to speak of and gazed back with yellow eyes as if it were a board game and he wanted to trade his harem for mine, four English lasses. The guide behind me got nervous, and started to thump his chest to show dominance as the gorilla pounded thunder out of his, and then ran up a branchless 20-meter palm and showered coconuts down on us. The trade was never made or the gene pool or Africa might have taken a turn.





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