Surfing the Net with Kids: Gorillas

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Surfing the Net with Kids: Gorillas

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Surfing the Net with Kids


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July 18, 2001

Dear Reader,

These are hard times for online publishers, such as Surfnetkids, because sponsors and
advertisers are scarce. But my day was brightened yesterday by a reader who sent me this:

“I look forward to this newsletter like a kid looks forward to Christmas.
I’m 52 years old. I teach, so I share the information with my co-workers and
parents. I love this site!” Signed, K.G.S.

Thank you, thank you, thank you! Now, if you could just send a few sponsors my way :) ….

Today’s Gorillas topic is accompanied by the following extras:

Rainforest Word Search & Glossary
Download a Gorilla Screensaver
Purchase a printer-friendly copy of today’s topic for just $1.00

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Gorillas are the largest of the apes, and have no natural enemies except for man. They make their home in the rain forests of Africa, near the equator. I was amazed to learn they were not discovered by man until 1847 ( . Can you imagine seeing a six-foot 450 pound gorilla for the very first time?

Congo Gorilla Forest


The Congo Gorilla Forest exhibit at the Bronx Zoo is a “six-and-a-half acre African rain forest environment that explains WHAT a rain forest is, HOW it works, WHICH animals make it their home, WHY it is threatened and HOW people can help save it.” It is home to two troops of lowland gorillas. Best gorilla clicks are found on Meet the Congo Residents and by choosing Great Gorilla Forest on the Congo Virtual Tour. Elementary kids will like the Congo Game, which is a Shockwave version of a traditional “move-around-the-board” game for two to four players.

Discovery Channel Gorilla Cam


I still thrill at the sight of live animal cams on my home computer. This cam is focused on six western lowland gorillas that live at the Franklin Park Zoo in Boston. The youngest member of the troop is baby Kira, born August 1999 to Kitombe and Kiki. “If you watch closely, you may get a chance to see Kira clinging to one of Kiki’s legs as the mother makes her way around the gorilla’s living space, which is designed to simulate the tropical forest of their endangered species’ home in equatorial Africa.” Gorilla Foundation


In 1971, Francine “Penny” Patterson began teaching Koko, a newborn lowland gorilla, American Sign Language. Koko proved an able pupil, and her vocabulary has grown to 1000 words. The Gorilla Foundation (of Woodside, CA) has a dual mission of interspecies communication and gorilla preservation. First stop for elementary-age students should be the excellent Koko’s Kids Club. Older students will find oodles of information about the amazing “talking” Koko in Koko’s World and general gorilla background material in About Gorillas. Teachers can receive a free information packet by clicking on the Teacher icon at the top of the Kids Club. Happy 30th Birthday, Koko!

Gorillas Online


“Gorillas are primarily vegetarians, and large quantities of food are needed to sustain their massive bulk. They will eat large quantities of fruit when it is available, sometimes as much as the far more usually frugivorous (fruit-eating) chimpanzee.” For middle and high school students, Gorillas Online offers a rich resource on gorilla natural history, taxonomy and genetics. Everyone, however, will enjoy the gorilla photos, paintings, and illustrations found in the Gorilla Gallery.

National Geographic Creature Feature: Mountain Gorillas


“Mountain gorillas are endangered. Less than 650 remain in the wild.” “The life span of a mountain gorilla is, in the wild, about forty years; in captivity, up to fifty years.” These are just two of the Fun Facts you’ll discover at this National Geographic Creature Feature. Best clicks are the audio clip of gorilla vocalizations, the Fun Facts, and the links to other featured creatures such as polar bears, hippopotamuses, and Nile crocodiles.

Surfing the Calendar

Family Feud Premieres
Jul 12, 1976
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Jul 17, 1955
Man Walks on the Moon
Jul 20, 1969
Amelia Earhart’s Birthday
Jul 24, 1897

More Calendar

Related Book
(in association with

Gorillas in the Mist


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Copyright © 2001 Barbara J. Feldman

Surfing the Net with Kids

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