For as long as I can remember, I’ve always felt a strong connection to animals. From the critters that roam my landscape to the wild animals I get to view when we visit Walt Disney World, all of them fascinate me.
Whenever we travel to Disney, we simply have to visit the Animal Kingdom, skipping the ‘rides’ and heading straight for the nature trails.
One of our favorites is the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail – a self-guided walking tour of native African wildlife.
Pangani means “place of enchantment,” and the imagineers certainly have done their best to transform this small slice of Florida into a lush, tropical forest and verdant valley that are right out of the heart of Africa.
On this last trip, I found the Lowland gorillas to be especially impressive. Though they may look fierce, Gorillas are “gentle giants,” eating only vegetation and only becoming aggressive when threatened.
Other interesting facts:
- Gorillas neither make nor use tools.
- Water is taken from greens and fruit.
- They cannot swim.
Also, did you know that 98% of their DNA is identical to human DNA??
Here is the closest I may ever come to a 600+ pound adult Silverback male. The sheer size of him was indeed intimidating, yet I felt no fear. I sensed a playfulness and calm curiosity as he held this long gaze with me, and when I look at this portrait, I cannot help but wonder about all that is going on behind those amazing eyes.
Mesmerizing, isn’t it?