The Gorilla King
Update: Titus Steps Down (June 2008)

The Gorilla King steps down from his kingdom.

kuryama     

New king on the mountain: Titus’s son, Kuryama, is now the leader of the “Beetsme” group.

When the phone rang and I heard someone from The Gorilla Fund on the line, I got all excited. I knew it would be an update about Titus, the gorilla featured in The Gorilla King, a Nature show that I worked on that aired last April (2008).

When last we left him, Titus’s son, Kuryama, had gained alliance and support from most of the gorillas in Titus’s group. Kuryama became their leader and left with them, leaving the massive silverback to form his own group from those that remained loyal to him.

Perhaps it was Titus’s age that helped him decide to reunite with Kuryama’s group. It is harder and harder for Titus to protect and lead his group.  At 33 years old, he is considered an old man by gorilla standards.

The amazing thing is that Titus, who lead the “Beetsme” group for 15 years, decided to be second in command to his son, Kuryama.

Family is such a strong and important part of gorilla life, I am happy to see that even with his new role, Titus is still garnering respect and attention from all in Kuryama’s group as well.

To learn more, read the story at the Gorilla Fund Web site

- Jill Clarke
NATURE producer 

  • Pam

    Please, Nature, run this special again! It was such an amazing, humane, beautiful story! I want to see it again and share it with my family!

  • Edwin Dunn

    I love to watch and read about the animals especially about the gorillas and orangutans. Can you update me on Kusasi the orangutan. Thanks for all the enjoyment

  • Cyril Rodrigues

    Please keep me posted as and when you will run any of the nature shows on these beautiful primates.

  • Tyson McCord

    I love this stuff

  • Emily Harris

    Hi, Watched this show on BBC2 last night and just wanted to say how amazing it was! It left it with Titus going off into the Congo with his remaining follwers so its great to know he returned safely :)
    Its unbelieveable how political the group dynamics are and how so like humans they are. Great stuff!

  • hellyn Goodwin

    Throughly enjoyable, what a wise leader Titus is to save face and that of his son. We have a lot to learn from the likes of Titus. It will be a sad day for me when he passes as I have been interested in him since he first appeared 33 yrs ago…lets hope he sees his days out protected,loved and watched by his family.

  • TOM TEGARDEN

    WOW I WAS SOOO BLOWN AWAY WITH THIS SHOW..THO I HAVE SEEN A SILVERBACK IN CAPTIVITY..WHAT A AWSOME THING…MY HOPE IS THAT TITUS REGAINS POWER OVER THE OLD GROUP AND THE NEW GROUP JOIN.PERHAPS KURYAMA WILL NOT CONTEST IT..PLEASE SHOW THIS AGAIN ON TV.

    THANKS FOR A AWSOME SHOW AND VIEW OF THERE LIFE
    HAND DOWN TO ALL WHO MADE THIS POSSIABE..IF IT WAS NOT FOR PEOPLE LIKE YOU WE WOULD NEVER BEEN ABLE TO SEE THIS.

  • tiff

    i absolutely fell in love with titus after watching this special. i have seen it many times since, and each time, i am more captivated by his story and leadership. i hope that the rest of his life will be happy and peaceful, now that he is no longer in charge of the group.

    i will always have a soft spot for titus and all the gorillas in the world.

  • Sue

    I have recently watched this show on the eden channell. My step son has got me into nature programmes and I thought this was fantastic. I was glued to my seat. It was amazing to see this silver back gorilla and his group, it was fastinating to watch. I would love to see more about this group of gorillas. I am now going through discovery and the eden channels watching documentories. Toki the cheeta was great too.

  • Mike

    When the group chose Kuryama as their new leader I couldn’t help but think that, this was the best form of democracy that I’d seen.

  • Ron Young

    Just read that Titus passed away. I hope he will be buried next to Diane Fossie or very close by. She would of liked that.
    Thank you

  • kathy cross

    After 30 years of following Ms. Fossie in Nat Geo Iam so amazed at the world she discovered for Man-Kind to enjoy but are we any different?

  • Jacob

    It was interesting how he lead the group up the mountain and kept them there well longer than usual. It was as if he took them up to give Kuryama the chance, and even “force” him, to take over the group. As if he lead them to the cold days to get the unusual easy and uncontested take over to happen because he knew the group was being taken over by his son. Amazing how his life and family formed to incredibly be a wonderful life.

  • lisha

    such a great story…. I have followed Fossies work for as long as i can remember and aspired to accomplish such greatness as she did. My first learning of her horrific death brought me to tears. As an environmentalist i feared for the gorillas and her research being forgotten over time. Sheer joy when i see neither has been forgotten by me and by the world. I prey Rwanda and the surrounding areas maintain the stability not just for its peoples sake but for the gorillas and other great animals as well. i also thank Nature for such QUALITY programming and look forward to continued updates on environmental efforts, recognizing the sacrifices scientist make everyday in the effort to understand the natural world around us. Keep up the great work. Cynthia moss is another great researcher i would like to here more about. her research is also key in understanding elephant communication.

    THANKS NATURE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK !!!!!!!!!

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