The Jakarta Post
A team of 600 rangers takes care of the endangered animals as the region is not only impacted by war, but also attracts poachers. (www.instagram.com/virunganationalpark//File)
A picture of two mountain gorillas posing with an anti-poaching unit ranger has gone viral. Carer Mathieu Shamavu posted it on Facebook with the caption: “Another day in the office."
You might have recently seen caretakers Mathieu and Patrick’s amazing selfie with female orphaned gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze inside the Senkwekwe center at Virunga National Park. We’ve received dozens of messages about the photo. YES, it’s real! Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities! Also, it’s no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either—most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time. Guys, if you shared our gorilla selfie post, please share our Earth Day posts as well! Conserving Virunga’s amazing wildlife is a constant challenge for the Park and our work wouldn’t be possible without your support. Matching funds have been pledged on every donation to the Park today, up to a total of $25,000—giving us the opportunity to raise $50,000 for Virunga! Visit virunga.org/donate or click the link in our bio to get involved and keep sharing our posts! Thank you! *We want to emphasize that these gorillas are in an enclosed sanctuary for orphans to which they have lived since infancy. The caretakers at Senkwekwe take great care to not put the health of the gorillas in danger. These are exceptional circumstances in which the photo was taken. It is never permitted to approach a gorilla in the wild. #gorillaselfie #gorilla #mountaingorilla #mountaingorillaselfie #selfie #earthday #earthday2019 #virunga #virunganationalpark #congo #drcongo #rdc #drc #protecttheplanet #happyearthday #wildlife #wildlifeconservation #conservation #natureconservation
The gorillas are living in an orphanage in Virunga National Park, DR Congo. Rangers rescued them as babies of two and four months when their mothers were killed in July 2007.
By growing up with the rangers in Senkwekwe Sanctuary in Virunga, the animals now seem to perceive them as their new parents and try to imitate human behavior and postures, such as by standing upright on two legs.
“I was very surprised to see it,” said Innocent Mburanumwe, deputy director of Virunga in an interview with BBC News. "So it´s very funny. It´s very curious to see how a gorilla can imitate a human and stand up."
Yvonne Ndege, a former BBC journalist now working for the United Nations in Kenya, commented on the extraordinary photograph by saying, “Selfie of the year no question!”
A team of 600 rangers takes care of the endangered animals as the region is not only impacted by war, but also attracts poachers. Shamavu and his colleagues´ job is dangerous, since more than 130 park rangers have been killed in Virunga since 1996. Five of them died last year during an ambush by rebels. (sop/kes)