There is nothing more painful than losing our parents. It breaks our heart and shatters our world. And this is not something only us human experience. Just like how we cry in pain, animals too feel the pain of loss and grief. And one particular photograph captures the pain of an animal burdened by the death of its parent, while being comforted by a human who was empathetic of the loss.
According to The Dodo, a mountain gorilla’s mother was killed by poachers in Congo. The animal found comfort in the company of park ranger, Patrick Karabaranga, who sat with his arm around the gorilla. This photograph from the Virunga National Park was taken in July 2012 by Phil Moore.
It speaks volumes of the emotions of the poor animals that are threatened by the illegal activities of humans. The image that later went viral captured the attention of millions across the internet, making many emotional.
“That was a beautiful and poetic vision of you two mourning together. Thank you for that. Teaches us a thing or two about animals, humans, and loss,” wrote a person on Reddit. “There’s something beautiful about this picture. Nothing hurts as much as the loss of someone so much a part of you as a parent. Anyone who’s lost one (or both) knows. And that deep feeling of loss isn’t unique to human beings. Animals like the gorilla pictured are sentient creatures. They know loss, too, and mourn as any one of us would,” added another user on social media.
Though many are sympathetic to these mountain animals, not much is done to protect their lives. Statistics say that these animals need much more than the pitiful cries of people.
According to National Geographic, mountain gorillas are among the critically endangered species and this is due to selfish activities of humans. Instead of preserving the rainforest, humans have destroyed large masses of land, leaving these animals homeless. In 2004, illegal settlers destroyed 3,700 acres of forest that was home to gorillas in Virunga National Park.
According a report on Scientific American, about 80,000 acres of rainforests are being destroyed every single day. Invasion to the natural habitat of these animals has enabled poachers to access the forests. Apart from the threat of illegal poaching and trophy hunters, these innocent animals are also forced to fight the harsh climatic conditions. “…as humans have moved more and more into the gorillas’ territory, the gorillas have been pushed farther up into the mountains for longer periods, forcing them to endure dangerous and sometimes deadly conditions,” said WWF.
With just around 790 mountain gorillas left in the world, it is important to do our best to end the killing of these poor animals.