Baby Gorilla, Gabon, 2000

Photograph by Michael Nichols

Lekedi, a baby western lowland gorilla, sits for a close-up at a gorilla orphanage in Gabon. Central Africa's lowland gorilla populations suffer from steady habitat loss, capture and killing by poachers, and the cross fire of civil wars within their range. Conservationists are working to avert the species' extinction by collecting gorilla orphans, nurturing and socializing them, and ultimately releasing them back into the wild.

—Photo shot on assignment for, but not published in, "Central Africa's Orphan Gorillas: Will They Survive in the Wild?" February 2000, National Geographic magazine

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