A terrible photo of a park ranger hugging a gorilla whose mother was killed by poachers has leaked online.

The anguish is just too much for this poor mountain gorilla. The frightened gorilla is grasping park ranger Patrick Karabaranga for comfort in a clear and dramatic demonstration of grief.
The photo was taken at the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s eastern region. Patrick, the park ranger, and the gorilla share a remarkable bond, and the gorilla expresses his gratitude by placing his hand on the ranger’s leg.

This shot also demonstrates the gorilla’s ability to convey grief as well as Patrick’s admiration for a species other than his own. This is a crucial talent in a world where our activities appear to be badly hurting the gorilla population.

Orphaned gorillas are being raised amid the chaos in Congo.
Mountain gorillas are un.for.tun.ately highly endangered as a result of two human behaviors. The first is deforestation, which has resulted in significant habitat loss for gorillas and other rain forest creatures. Agricultural and mining sectors de.st.roy 80,000 acres of rainforest per day.

Poaching is the gorillas’ second major th.r.eat. The gorillas’ second big concern is poaching.
Un.for.tunately, gorilla meat is a big business, and it needs to be stopped.

Conservation efforts have recently resulted in some success in rebuilding wild gorilla numbers, but there is still more work to be done, as this photo shows.

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