April 23, 2019

That extraordinary gorilla selfie explained

That extraordinary gorilla selfie explained
Dr. Chris Brown

There are selfies and then there’s the moment captured by ranger Mathieu Shamavu. But just how and why the endangered mountain gorillas are standing might surprise you...

An incredible 1/3 of the world’s endangered mountain gorilla population live in the Congo’s Virunga National Park. And safeguarding them against the threat of war, poaching and human disease are up to 600 rangers like Mathieu. But I’ll be honest, when I first saw the image, I thought it may be fake. Wild gorillas rarely stand on two feet like humans do. And then I looked deeper into the image.

Incredibly, the photo is 100% real and also 100% heartwarming. It turns out Mathieu and his team hand raised these two female gorillas after they were orphaned. And these two girls are simply imitating their adopted parents by temporarily standing up like them while also expressing their curiosity over the camera. Making this an incredible peek into their cheeky personalities. And a reminder of the importance of saving the mighty mountain gorilla...

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