“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate on the preservation of the future.” -Dian Fossey
I find very interesting that some of the biggest animals on earth are also the kindest; whales, giraffes, elephants -when not in a bad mood- and yes, gorillas are definitively part of this group. The truth is not many people know about this. The gorillas’ formidable appearance, great strength, and the chest-beating display allowed hunters and Hollywood producers to give these very kind animals an unfounded reputation for ferocity. I’m sill waiting for a version of King Kong where the gorilla doesn’t die in the end; it is safely returned to his natural habitat and receive apologies from the stupid, ignorant, humans…I guess it is wishful thinking.
The reality is that gorillas have always been threatened by a man and not the other way around -what a surprise! Adult males are dangerously aggressive only when fighting one another over females or when defending their family groups against predators and hunters. Don’t we humans behave in similar ways when we and our love ones are threatened?
Watching gorillas in a naturalistic outdoor exhibit, definitively destroys all myths we might have about them. In reality, gorillas are shy, clumsy, and reclusive creatures, not at all interested in snatching humans or climbing towers. If you want to see big apes climbing things, well you are looking at the wrong ape, orangutans are actually fantastic at it.
Just go to the zoo early one morning and see for yourself, in fact that’s actually the best time of the day to capture great images of most animals, not only they are awake and hopefully very active but also your shots will benefit from the prettiest light of the day.