With certainty, losing a parent is one of the most tragic experiences in life. And, this deep sadness and feeling of emptiness and despair isn’t exclusive to humans-according to what we can see on this heartbreaking photo taken by photographer Phil Moore.
This mountain gorilla’s mother was killed by poachers and in dismay, it holds onto the park ranger Patrick Karabaranga for support.
Animals Grieve like We Do
The photo was taken back in 2012 in the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It documents the gorilla’s capacity to grieve and the man’s compassion for an individual that’s a different species from him.
This is definitely a skill we need more in today’s world where human activities are endangering the lives of wild gorillas, including poaching.
Mountain Gorillas Are Endangered
Unfortunately, mountain gorillas are a critically endangered species because of mass deforestation that’s caused habitat loss for gorillas and other animals from the rainforest.
On a daily basis, 80,000 acres of rainforest are being destroyed by industries like mining, agriculture, and logging.
Logging companies, through the building of infrastructure to transport goods in and out of the rainforests, they’re also unintentionally supporting the poachers who also use these roads to come to the habitats of the gorillas and transport gorilla meat.
Recent success achieved by conservationists is the restoration of the population of wild gorillas, but, as the photo shows, a lot more needs to be done.
This gorilla, like other three orphans currently in the sanctuary were brought there after their parents were killed by poachers or due to traffickers’ attempts to smuggle them.
With more than 200 mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park accounts for around ¼ of the world population of this species.