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S26 Ep11

The Gorilla King

Premiere: 7/3/2011 | 00:00:30 | NR

King among the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Titus is one of only 700 of his kind alive today. Dian Fossey, the famed primatologist, documents Titus' extraordinary life, from his early days to his rise to power as a silverback. 7/3/2011

About the Episode

NATURE retraces the life of Titus, silverback leader, from birth to present reign, spanning a tumultuous period in the history of a species and a nation in The Gorilla King.

In 1974, renowned primatologist Dian Fossey introduced a young researcher named Kelly Stewart to a gorilla family Fossey was studying. Stewart, daughter of actor Jimmy Stewart, was the first to see a tiny new baby gorilla. She named him Titus, and her journal entry began the up-close observation of his life that researchers have continued to this day. Titus’s turbulent life story, from orphan to ruler and the challenge to his throne today, is chronicled in The Gorilla King.

At 33 years old, the 400-pound silverback Titus has ruled for nearly half his life, an astonishing feat given the early trials he faced. When Titus was four, his father was slaughtered by poachers. Shortly after, his infant sister was killed in a coup attempt by an interloper named Beetsme. It wasn’t unusual; when a male outsider takes over a group, he will kill all the infants in order to sire his own offspring. Titus’s mother and other sister fled, leaving him orphaned and abandoned.

In 1991, at age 17, Titus surprised researchers when he deposed Beetsme in a bloodless coup. Titus was entering his prime, but Rwanda was descending into the chaos of civil war, forcing researchers to flee. It created the only gap in his life’s record.

Follow the entire saga of Titus’s reign in The Gorilla King.

 

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Television Credits

THE GORILLA KING

Narrated by
F. MURRAY ABRAHAM

Director
DAVID ALLEN

Producer
LINDA BELL

Executive Producer
JEREMY BRADSHAW

Production Manager
JEANNE CLENET

Photography
SIMON DE GLANVILLE
DAVID ALLEN

Sound Recordist
AVIT NKURIKIYUMUKIZA

Editor
CHARLES DAVIES

Music
BILL LOVELADY

Dubbing Mixer
MATT SKILTON

Colorist
JONATHAN LIEB

Online Editor
ADAM GRANT

Graphics
FLUID PICTURES LTD

Script Consultant
SUE WESTERN

Field Assistants
FELIX NDAGIJIMANA
VERONICA VECELLIO
FAUSTIN BARABWIRIZA
JEAN BOSCO BIZUMUREMYI
FIDELE UWIMANA

Assistant Producer
HARVEY JONES

Production Coordinators
GEORGINA CRAWFORD
ALICE BECKER
SARAH TUCKER

Archive
Brent Stirton Getty Images
ITN Source / Granada
Last Refuge Ltd
Moana Productions
Mutual of Omaha
National Geographic

With Special Thanks To
ROSETTE CHANTAL RUGAMBA
TONY MUDAKIKWA
OFFICE RWANDAISE DU TOURISME ET DES PARCS NATIONAUX
DIAN FOSSEY GORILLA FUND
DFGF STAFF AT KARISOKE RESEARCH CENTER
KATIE FAWCETT
IAN REDMOND
DAVID WATTS
MARTHA ROBBINS
KELLY STEWART
DIETER AND NETZIN STEKLIS
AMY VEDDER
DADDY YOUSSOUF RUHORAHOZA
KAMANZI ALOYS

For NATURE

Series Editor
JANET HESS

Supervising Producer
JANICE YOUNG

Senior Producer
LAURA METZGER

Producers
JILL CLARKE
IRENE TEJARATCHI

Production Manager
JULIE SCHAPIRO THORMAN

Production Assistant
JAYNE JUN

Manager
EILEEN FRAHER

Re-Recording Mixer
DOUG JOHNSON

Online Editor
DAVID NOLING

Series Producer
BILL MURPHY

Executive In Charge
WILLIAM GRANT

Executive Producer
FRED KAUFMAN

A Co-production of Tigress Productions Limited and Thirteen/WNET New York in association with British Broadcasting Corporation.

This program was produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which is solely responsible for its content.

© 2008 Educational Broadcasting Corporation and Tigress Productions Limited

Web Credits

Director of Production
DANIEL B. GREENBERG

Producer
TANNER VEA

Production Assistant
DANIEL ROSS

Writers

“More on Dian Fossey and Her Research”
by ELYSE EISENBERG

“Gorilla Family Dynamics” and “Explore Titus’s Family Tree”
by TANNER VEA

“Update: Titus Dies at Age 35”
by CHRIS WADE

Creative Director
NICK MILLER

Pagebuilding
BRIAN SANTALONE

Technical Director
BRIAN LEE

Director of Digital Strategy
DAVID HIRMES

Photos for “Overview,” “Gorilla Family Dynamics,” “More on Dian Fossey and Her Research,” “Explore Titus’s Family Tree,” “Submit a Caption,” and “Resources” by Simon de Granville © Tigress Productions. Images of individual gorillas for “Explore Titus’s Family Tree” courtesy of The Gorilla Fund. Other photos from “The Gorilla King.”

Thirteen Online is a production of Thirteen/WNET New York’s Kravis Multimedia Education Center in New York City. Dan Goldman, Executive Director, thirteen.org. Bob Adleman, Business Manager.