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NATURE: The Gorilla King

Airs Sunday, July 3, 2011 & Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 8 p.m. on KPBS TV

Above: King among the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Titus (pictured) is one of only 700 of his kind alive today. This program traces his extraordinary life and times, from his early days to his rise to power as a silverback.

King among the mountain gorillas of Rwanda, Titus is one of only 700 of his kind alive today. Dian Fossey, the famed primatologist, was his first human contact, meeting and naming him in August of 1974, when he was just two days old.

Conservationist Ian Redmond shares his memories of Titus and his extraordinary life and times in "The Gorilla King."
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Above: Conservationist Ian Redmond shares his memories of Titus and his extraordinary life and times in "The Gorilla King."

In the decades that followed, his surroundings have changed beyond recognition, and he has been orphaned, abandoned, surrounded by civil war, poachers, farmers, scientists, disease and new technology.

Conservationist Ian Redmond shares his memories of Titus and his extraordinary life and times, from his early days to his rise to power as a silverback.

In "The Gorilla King," archival footage documents Titus and his family, as well as a visit from a young David Attenborough and many of the people who have been on the frontlines of the efforts to protect him and all of the gorillas in Rwanda.

This film originally aired in 2008. Update: Titus dies at age 35:

The natural world lost one of its most preeminent figures as Titus, known as the Gorilla King, succumbed to old age and died on September 14, 2009. His passing marked the end of a remarkable story, spanning four decades, as unique and dramatic as anything in the animal kingdom, and a treasure for primatologists and all naturalists the world over.

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Video

Nature: The Gorilla King

Watch the full episode. See more Nature.

Above: 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."

Video

The Gorilla King: Kuryama's Challenge

Above: Normally Titus is a calm and distinguished leader. However, recent challenges to Titus' rule by his rival, Kuryama, have the entire group of gorillas on edge. Could this be the climax of Titus's epic reign as "The Gorilla King"?

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