A mountain gorilla mother cuddles her three-month-old infant in Rwanda's Volcanoes National Park.
There are about a thousand mountain gorillas remaining on Earth, and about half live in the forests of the Virunga mountains in central Africa. Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of eastern gorilla (Gorilla beringei). As their name hints, they live in the mountains at elevations between 8,000 and 13,000 feet.
These gorillas live on the green, volcanic slopes of Rwanda, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of Congo—areas that have seen much human violence from which the gorillas have not escaped unscathed. Habitat loss is a major threat: agriculture, illegal mining, and forest destruction for charcoal production have degraded their forests. They often get caught in snares laid out to trap other animals for bushmeat. Climate change also poses a