To ensure the continued survival of Congo's Lac Tele Community Reserve’s critical great ape populations, as well as to secure the wellbeing and health of the reserve’s forest-dependent people, a comprehensive understanding of the intersections between humans, gorillas, and chimpanzees is critical. My research will address the question: What are the social and ecological mechanisms that allow humans, chimpanzees, and gorillas to coexist in the Lac Tele Community Reserve? The objective of my summer research will be to use several interdisciplinary methods – ethnography, participant mapping, biological sampling, and camera trapping – to lay the groundwork for a dissertation field study on the coexistence of Lac Tele’s great apes. Broadly, I hope to understand the spatial and cultural overlap between people and great apes, historically and contemporarily. Further, I aim to show how the unique flooded/wetland/peat aspects of the reserve are linked to ways of life for people and for apes, leading to a higher prioritization of the area for ecological and cultural conservation.