One of the most traumatic experiences a person can go through is losing a parent. As photographer Phil Moore shows, humans are not the only creatures capable of such profound sorrow.
For this mountain gorilla, whose mother was k.illed by poachers, the suffering is all too real. The grieving gorilla asks park ranger Patrick Karabaranga for help as he clings to him in an artistic expression of his sorrow.
In a world where human activity is progressively intruding on the lives of wild gorillas, this shot, taken at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, shows the gorilla’s capacity to communicate bereavement and Karabaranga’s sympathy for another species.
The highly endangered status of mountain gorillas is the result of two distinct human acts. First, excessive deforestation has resulted in considerable habitat loss for not only gorillas but also many other rainforest animals. 80,000 acres of rainforest being cut down every day for the sake of commercial sectors like mining, logging, and agriculture.
Logging companies unintentionally encourage the second human threat to gorillas by building infrastructure to move goods into and out of these jungles: poachers, who use these routes to infiltrate gorilla habitats and smuggle gorilla meat.
Despite recent successes in rebuilding the wild gorilla population due to conservation initiatives, there is still work to be done as seen by the gorilla and park ranger’s dejected expressions.