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Near 90-Year-Old Woman Treks to Rwanda to See Gorillas

The Columbus Dispatch, The New Time Rwanda   in  ·
April 30, 2015

Loann Crane could have reached out and touched the mountain gorillas that loped around and above her in the Rwandan rainforest.

No barriers stood between them. The massive animals showed no fear — or aggression — toward the humans who stood in their tropical home, alternately staring and snapping photographs. Every once in a while, a gorilla would crash down from the trees and wander off.

“I wasn’t at all afraid, just in awe,” Crane said last week as she recounted her trek in March to see a gorilla tribe in the mountains of Volcanoes National Park in central Africa.

Crane will turn 90 on May 8, and her daughter, Tanny Crane, thought the trek would be the perfect present for her well-traveled mother. No one that old had ever gone on Rwanda’s famed gorilla treks, organizers of the trips said.

For the past several years, Jack Hanna and his wife, Suzi, have invited a small group of people, many from Columbus, to accompany them to Rwanda to see the gorillas. Hanna, director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, had mentioned the trip to Tanny Crane last year, and she decided to make it a family affair for her siblings and their spouses, as well as their mom.

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