I spent six weeks at the bai, a kind of sanctuary for gorillas, in the Republic of the Congo, taking photographs of these fascinating creatures.
I was perched in a tree house. From here, I was able to view a clearing that drew my subjects from the dark forest and (1) __________
the sunlight. I went (2) __________
doctor's orders, recovering from hepatitis but determined to photograph one of the three bais along the Lokwe River in Odzala National Park.
Elephants help keep bais open (3) ___________
clearing trees and churning the forest floor to scoop up mineral-rich earth. Other animals move in to do the same (4) __________
I camped far (5) __________
the bai to avoid spooking the animals (6) __________
my scent. It paid (7) __________
when I caught a gorilla family warily watching an elephant. I rose daily at 4.30 a.m. and fired (8) __________
my stove to make strong coffee and instant oatmeal. I then faced an adrenaline-pumping walk (9) __________
thick foliages where potentially dangerous encounters with animals were always (10) __________
my mind. I know well the risk in facing a charging elephant or a defensive male gorilla.
~Adapted from National Geographic, 'The Clearing' by Michael Nichols, March 2001~