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Book review: Gorilla, By Ted Gott and Kathryn Weir


Our vegetarian cousins (we shared a common ancestor seven million years ago) have generated an odd mix of fear and appeal.

No fewer than 14 illustrations in this fascinating work depict gorillas carrying off human females. "All that has been denigrated… in human nature has been projected on to the gorilla."

We learn, however, that Koko in San Francisco Zoo, "has a sense of humour, feels empathy and remembers events."

The acknowledgment of kinship has come perilously late for gorillas competing with humans for habitat. One lowland sub-species is "estim-ated at less than 300".