Gorilla King Titus dies in Rwanda
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Last Updated: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 19:18
  
Kigali: The world's most famous mountain gorilla Titus, aka the Gorilla King, has died at the age of 35, the Rwandan national parks office said on Tuesday.

"He was born on August 24, 1974 and has been observed closely by researchers throughout his entire life. Tragically, he succumbed to old age on September 14," a statement said.

Rwanda's oldest silver-back was made famous notably by a BBC documentary broadcast in 2008 and called "Titus: the Gorilla King".

The highly-endangered mountain gorillas are found only on the slopes of the Virunga mountains on the borders of Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Fewer than 700 mountain gorillas are left, according to the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International.

Both Rwanda and Uganda have turned gorilla tracking into a major eco-tourism industry and a big foreign-currency earner.

Legendary American primatologist Dian Fossey, who until her brutal murder in 1985 lived in the Virunga, is credited with bringing the mountain gorilla's plight to the world's attention and most likely saving it from extinction.

Fossey's isolated life in the mountains of Rwanda was immortalised in the 1988 Hollywood movie "Gorillas in the Mist".

Bureau Report


First Published: Tuesday, September 15, 2009, 19:18


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