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Photos: See Gorillas and Chimpanzees in Their Native Forests

Great ape populations

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Forrest Hogg/WCS)

In the rainforests of the Republic of Congo, a western lowland gorilla gazes into the canopy of branches above. Following a 10-year-long study in Western Equatorial Africa of western lowland gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) and central chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes troglodytes), researchers now know there are more of these animals in the wild than previously understood.

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Just keep movin'

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Emma Stokes/WCS)

The decade-long study revealed that the total population of central chimpanzees, such as the one seen here swinging in the trees, is a tenth higher than previously believed, at around 130,000 individuals.

Keepin' watch

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Zanne Labuschagne/WCS)

From under cover of leaves and branches, Buka, a silverback gorilla in Nouabale-Ndoki National Park, watches the forest. The study also revealed that 360,000 western lowland gorillas call the Republic of Congo home. This is almost a third more individuals than prior numbers indicated. But with the good, comes the bad: These populations are known to be declining at 2.7 percent annually.

Naptime

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Zanne Labuschagne/WCS)

Inside the Nouabale-Ndoki National Park in the Republic of Congo, a western lowland gorilla rests in the cover of the rainforest.

Taking in the view

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Emma Stokes/WCS)

Two central chimpanzees sit in a tree contemplating their home.

Somber stare

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Ben Evans/WCS)

This western lowland gorilla seems to be sizing up the photographer.

Breaktime

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Copyright Thomas Breuer)

In the Mbeli Bai forest clearing, a western lowland gorilla pauses in the sun.

Bright eyes

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Copyright Thomas Breuer)

A western lowland gorilla infant takes in its surroundings from the safety of its mother's arms.

Downtime

gorillas, chimpanzees, congo

(Image credit: Copyright Lincoln Park Zoo)

Lazily reclining, a young central chimpanzee gazes quietly into the distance.
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