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Clare Richardson
President & CEO, The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International, Atlanta, Georgia, USA

The mountain gorillas of Rwanda live in a beautiful mountain forest. When they visit the edges of their habitat in the Volcanoes National Park, they can see and hear the people who live in local villages as they work in their fields around the boundaries of the park. The people are recovering and rebuilding in the aftermath of a devastating war and genocide. The children of Rwanda will be very pleased to know that children in Atlanta care about them, as well as the mountain gorillas who share their land.

Mountain gorillas are very like humans. They live in family groups and the adults are loving and protective parents. The infant gorillas and juveniles, called "blackbacks", love to play and climb trees and chase each other. They also like to wrestle with the adults in the group and can often be seen climbing all over the enormous silverback leader of the group. Just like humans, they only get away with this for a short period of time and then the silverback removes them so firmly that they are not tempted to return. At least not for a while! The mountain gorilla's natural disposition is calm and non-threatening, but again, like humans, they will fiercely protect their family and their territory from intruders.

To see a mountain gorilla in the wild is an unforgettable experience. You leave determined to protect their habitat and to help them survive. However, not many people are lucky enough to see the mountain gorillas. Telling their story through Majii's adventures will help children all over the world to know them and to appreciate their right to share this planet with us. Then the children of the world can share this message with their parents so that many more families, communities and schools will feel closer to the people and the gorillas of Africa.

I'm sure that the children and parents of Fernbank Elementary School already feel closer to the mountain gorillas.

Thank you so much for buying this book. You too are now part of the family!

Atlanta January 17, 2000