Face-to-face with gorillas

The 60 Minutes team has a close encounter with gorillas in Gabon

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Damian Aspinall, the British millionaire and conservationist, makes regular trips to Gabon in West Africa to visit some of his reintegrated gorillas. On one such trip, it was evident how well the gorillas knew Aspinall and quickly recognized his calls. But it was the 60 Minutes team that piqued the gorillas' curiosity.

While the cameras came pretty close to the gorillas, producer Shachar Bar-On told 60 Minutes Overtime that his team was instructed not to interact with them for safety reasons. That said, the interested gorillas played by their own rules, coming so close to the crew, one gorilla actually shoved one of the 60 Minutes cameramen.


In another part of the Gabonese jungle, the 60 Minutes crew checked in on some of the released gorillas they'd met at Aspinall's wildlife park in England. When co-producer Alexandra Poolos first saw the animals in their natural habitat, she admitted to 60 Minutes Overtime's Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson, Aspinall's decision to release the zoo animals into the wild seemed right.

"They look so healthy, they look so happy," Poolos recalled. It was only later, when the 60 Minutes team learned the animals' fate, that she reconsidered.

Damian Aspinall tells Lesley Stahl there's no... 04:43

COMMENT: What was your reaction when the fate of Aspinall's gorillas was revealed at the end of Lesley Stahl's 60 Minutes report?

This Overtime video was produced by Magalie Laguerre-Wilkinson and Sean Kelly. It was originally published on March 15, 2015.