"I could tell she knew I was there. But the burly matriarch of the Nshongi mountain gorilla family was ignoring me as she plucked branches from a bush and lazily munched on the leaves, like a teenager working her way through a packet of crisps.
Then suddenly a baby gorilla tumbled through the undergrowth and past us both. She looked across and our eyes met. Instinctively I lowered my gaze. She wasn't hostile, she just wanted to make sure I knew my place. What was surprising was that I understood exactly what her glance meant. And, even more astonishing, I knew she understood me too.
It is that visceral sense of connection between species which makes visiting mountain gorillas in the wild such a profound experience. Spend just a few minutes in the company of a family of gorillas and the concept of "us and them" dissolves. You meet as equals."