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Animals

A Curious Giant, Democratic Republic of the Congo, 2006

Lowland Gorillas are notoriously elusive in the jungle so the researchers at Mondika spent 15 years habituating Kingo and the females in his group to the presence of people. At least once a week, Kingo would lead the group to the swamp for a meal of nutrient dense herbs and ants. As the silverback of the group, Kingo is not only the father of the young, he must navigate the politics of the females, plan the daily food routes, and protect the young from leopards.

Location: Mondika, Democratic Republic of the Congo
Photograph Date: 2006
Medium: Chromogenic Print
Edition: 200



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Photographer Profile: Ian Nichols

Ian Chase Nichols is an emerging figure in the field of photography. Comfortable behind the camera, Nichols first began work in Gabon in 2003 with his father, Michael Nichols, who was in Gabon on a seven-month assignment for National Geographic magazine. While in Gabon, Ian Nichols volunteered as a photographer for the WCS Whale Team. Photographing under difficult conditions proved challenging and successful as he developed a body of work as well as an aesthetic vision.

Upon graduation from the University of Virginia in 2004, Nichols applied for a grant to photograph “naïve” chimps at a research site in Congo, where he spent one year photographing undocumented tool use.

In 2009, on assignment for National Geographic magazine, Nichols photographed lowland gorillas in Congo. Patient and sensitive to the nuances of primate behavior, Nichols has captured rare glimpses into these great apes.

Nichols’s work has ranged from documenting chimps in Congo to grassroots political events in Washington, D.C. His intention is to capture authentic moments that inspire awareness in others and foster positive change in our world.

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