Gorillas’ ‘selfie’ goes viral

A PICTURE showing two orphaned female gorillas posing like humans, taken in Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (剛果民主共和), has gone viral since it was
published online in late April.
Mathieu Shamavu, a Virunga ranger and caretaker at the park’s Senkwekwe Centre for Orphaned Mountain Gorillas, said he was out walking with Ndakazi and Ndeze when he spotted a
photo opportunity.
“We let them loose so they are at ease. They were curious about what was happening. They stood up. And when they stood up, I took my phone because I didn’t want to lose the
shot because it was exceptional,” Shamavu said in an interview. “When they saw me take out my phone they dropped what they were doing, spotted the camera and watched.”
Ndakazi and Ndeze were raised by caretakers at the Senkwekwe Centre after being rescued in 2007 when they were babies. Mountain gorillas are an endangered species facing threats
from poachers and armed groups.
“These animals are so used (to humans), they like to imitate and do what people do,” Shamavu said. “We are always together, we accompany them in their natural environment.
“This is why these gorillas are used to us, their guardians, and no one else – no journalist, no visitor – would have been able to take this photo.”

(This article is published on Junior Standard on 07 May 2019)

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