The rules for your safety and that of the Gorillas are that you should remain seven metres apart. All the rangers and scientists try their best to keep this status quo, but…. There are occasions when this isn’t possible.
It was our second week with Pablo’s group and we had been granted a couple of 4 hr days, which was brilliant. Myself, Rosie and Felix where in thick Bamboo, with a couple of individuals, when suddenly a silverback took a bit of a dislike to the boom microphone and came charging towards us. We were backed up against a wall of bamboo and had nowhere to go so Felix told us to ‘drop and don’t look at him’, this we did, with great speed and conviction. He stopped short when he realised the quivering, sweating heaps of submissive flesh on the floor probably weren’t a threat and sat down right next to us, just to be sure and so as to be able to keep an eye on the scary furry microphone creature. The other members of the gang suddenly found us quite interesting and a blackback then a mum with infant came up and pressed their noses to the lens. All the while we were dutifully looking anywhere but at them. It was a pretty extraordinary experience.
As soon as the Silverback got bored and when off to push a tree down we retreated to our 7 metres and laughed a little bit hysterically!
p.s there aren't any photos of this cos we were being submissive.....and shaking too much!