The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on November 15, 1968 · Page 19
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November 15, 1968

A Publisher Extra Newspaper

The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 19

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Location:
West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Friday, November 15, 1968
Page:
Page 19
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Page 19 article text (OCR)

Palm Beach Post, Friday, Nov. 13, 196819 Girl Says Apes Aren't Ferocious I -- tiaul Famous Bedding i TFTTvl II 1 .1 fl I At Spectacular rnce Keaucuons: I've had 830 hours of direct observation of gorillas," she says, "but each hour costs at least four hours of walking." The "mountain gorilla" is a distinctive type that inhabits forested mountain regions in Rwanda, Uganda, and parts of the Republic of Congo. And the species is endangered, says Miss Fossey, by cattle grazing on their traditional territory forcing the apes ever higher into the mountains where food is scarcer. Also, she says, the apes have long been naturally terrified of and she comes down only every month or so to get fresh food supplies. To reach the gorillas, she says she usually has to push her way through thick forests. In the 22 months I've been engaged In this study first in the Congo, later in Rwanda "J!, sealy EXTRA FIRM MATTRESS & BOX SPRINGS SETS GUARANTEED 10 TEARS Button Free Brings youumojing relief from bok orhes roused by too soft mattress. S(ienli(i(olly constructed to resist mildew and odor. 8IK1I Complete Set fi95 By FRANK CARES AP Science Writer WASHINGTON (AP) Hu mans have almost a completely wrong idea of the nature of gorillas, says an attractive American girl who has been observing a bunch of the great apes in the African wilds. "The popular notion that gorillas are ferocious beasts is just a big myth an ancient myth that has been helped along in modern times by 'King Kong' movies and comicbooks," says Miss Dian Kos-sey, .')6, a tall, slim brunette. "They're really pretty shy, tend to be friendly and are not aggressive, says the girl from Menlo Park, Calif., who has spent 22 months studying gorillas in their native bailiwick. She says she likes nothing better than to sit down with a group of 475 pound gorillas and chew giant celery leaves with her strictly-vegetarian pals. She rose to the defense of the gorillas at a news conference called by the National Geographic Society from which she has a grant "to provide science with the knowledge needed to help save Africa's mountain gorillas from extinction." After reporting to the society on her progress, she plans to head back to Rwanda in central Africa where she lives in a little one room hut, 10,000 feet up on a mountainside. Her headquarters is some 50 miles from the nearest town humans including native cattle-herders and game-poachers in the area to such an extent that when the California girl first showed up on the mountain, "they would scream and run." But she said she gradually gained acceptance with many of about 50 apes on her side of the mountain by sitting in the undergrowth with them, chewing celery leaves, and even beating on her chest and grooming herself with ape-like motions. "The idea," she says, "is to habituate them. I want them to react normally, so I imitate their behavior." Once, she said, she had a dangerous close call from a goup of five male gorillas who came charging down the mountainside only because she had apparently frightened them. "I had been following them without their knowing it," she said, "when one of them spotted me. He let out a fearful roar, spread the alarm, and five gorillas came galloping down from 50 yards away letting out intensive, explosive roars and causing the foliage to shake as they came on. "As they came near me, I held out my arms and yelled 'Whoa!' "And, when they were only about three feet from me, their leader a gorilla named Rafaki caused them to swerve. 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