Similarities between Gorillas and humans
Several groups of Gorillas have been studied for many years and, through the patience and understanding of the scientists, have come to accept other people, provided they are properly introduced and behave in a proper fashion. Encountering a gorilla family and being allowed to sit with them is a moving experience. They are in many ways so like us. Their sight and sense of hearing and smell are closely similar to our own, so that they perceive the world in very much the same way as we do. Like us, they live in largely permanent family groups. Their life expectancy is about the same as ours and they move from childhood to maturity and from maturity to senility at very similar ages. We even share the same kind of gestural language and one that you must observe when you are with them. A stare is rude or, put in a less anthropocentric way, threatening - a challenge that invites reprisal. Keeping the head low and the eyes down is a way of expressing submission and friendliness.