Next to a teddy bear, there is nothing quite like a huggable gorilla stuffed animal. With its oversized body, and velvety soft fur, a gorilla stuffed animal makes is an ideal stand-in for the iconic teddy.
It was Dian Fossey who originally set up her camp in the Rwanda section of the Virunga Volcanoes, to study the gorillas living there. In fact, since her first contact with them in 1967, direct descendants of those same gorillas are still being observed and studied today. Gorillas are much easier to study in in the wet forests surrounding the Virunga Volcanoes compared to lowland gorillas; with their fruit-poor diets, they typically travel in much smaller home ranges. In addition, when they eat and travel in the undergrowth of the montane forest (a fog forest of middle to high altitude), the trampled trails of vegetation acts as markers for humans so they are able to easily follow them. At the same time, the rugged terrain also allows researchers to keep their distance while getting excellent visibility.
Beginning March 1, 2010 and ending in April, Rwanda, along with other neighboring countries and partners, planned to strengthen conservation of the gorilla population living in the Virunga Volcanoes by conducting a census of the group. The census was also used to gage the general health of the gorillas along with how they were doing in the wake of recent conflicts in the region. The Virunga Volcanoes is only one of two areas in which mountain gorillas live and their current population numbers are about 680 individuals. In 2003, when the last census was done in the Virunga Volcanoes, an estimated 380 individuals was counted with the remaining population living in Uganda in the Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
A gorilla stuffed animal is not a plush toy to be looked upon in fear. Like the real thing, a gorilla stuffed animal is shy and retiring. A gorilla will not look for trouble unless it's being harassed but if threatened, it will not hesitate to defend its family group. You and your gorilla stuffed animal will undoubtedly have a strong attachment to each other and as a result, you will be the one to come to the defence of your helpless plush toy should you ever have to.