Critically endangered. Hunted for meat and skin, captured to be sold to zoos, killed for raiding crop fields when hungry, driven from their habitats due to humans destroying the forests.. the list goes on.
In Congo Brazzaville, with greatly appreciated help of African Parks, I had the opportunity to try and photograph them, deep in the rain forest. It takes walking mile after mile through dense forest, trying to ignore the 100% humidity, climbing over slippery fallen trees, crashing through make-shift ‘bridges’ frantically trying not to land on the camera bag on my back, trying to focus through fogged up viewfinders, wearing mouth masks (for their protection), trying to get a clear shot through the dense marantaceae where they hide during day time. The light is sparse at best due to the closed forest roof: I don’t think I photographed under 2000 iso and even than it was .. challenging.
But it was só worth it. Even if I couldn’t have taken photographs, only seeing them was such a mind blowing experience that I still choke up thinking about it. They share about 98% identical DNA with us and observing this mother gorilla caressing her baby was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life.
Canon EOS-1D X Mark II
Canon EF100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM at 360mm
ISO 2000, f5.6, 1/100s
Tagged: , nature , wildlife , wild , endangered , Gorilla , Western Lowland gorilla , mother , baby , jungle , Congo Brazzaville , Africa , Gorilla gorilla gorilla , Gorille des plaines de l’Ouest , Westlicher Flachlandgorilla , hvhe1 , Hennie van Heerden , Black and White , B/W , BRAVO