The truly heartbreaking photo shows the young gorilla feeling a sense of deep sadness after he lost his mother to poachers.
Cover Image Credit: PHIL MOORE/AFP/Getty Images
A mother's love is truly universal that not only can be felt by humans but even animals for that matter. The mere thought of losing your mother is heartbreaking and if it is not of natural causes, that hurts even more. A young gorilla found it the hard way when he realized that his mother was killed by poachers.
In an emotional display of mourning, the mountain gorilla can be seen looking extremely sad and heartbroken but park ranger Patrick Karabaranga came forward to show his support.
The heartbreaking picture captured by photographer Phil Moore shows the feeling of deep sadness when one loses their parent. Patrick knew what he had to do at that time. He comforted the gorilla in the sweetest way possible, by giving him a comforting hug. When you need a hug, you need a hug.
Sharing the picture on Instagram, HuffPost UK wrote on the caption: "Patrick Karabaranga, a warden at the Virunga National Park, sits with an orphaned mountain #gorilla in the gorilla sanctuary in the park headquarters at Rumangabo in the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo."
"The #Virunga park is home to some 210 mountain gorillas, approximately a quarter of the world's population. The four orphans that live in the sanctuary are the only mountain #gorillas in the world not living in the wild, having been brought here after their parents were killed by poachers or as a result of traffickers trying to smuggle them out of the park."
"They play a critical part in the survival of the species' says Emmanuel De Merode, Director for Virunga National Park. He adds that the ICCN does not currently have access to the gorilla sector of the park due to the M23 rebellion," it concluded.
The photo was captured on July 2012 at Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and it soon went viral with people expressing their sadness for the gorilla.
Caretakers at Virunga National Park are known for having a special relationship with young gorillas. While elucidating more on that bond, Chief caretaker André Bauma told National Geographic in 2016:
"There is a bond that ties us together. A relationship very, very, very close between us—the guardians and these gorillas. They are our jewel. The wonderful thing we have to show visitors who come to Virunga National Park is our gorillas. They show a special love toward us. So it's almost a family that we belong to somehow. When we leave them, something is missing because we have been together from the very beginning."
He added: '"We are the ones who taught them how to eat, how to play, how to do all of the things that they do together... Because of their way of life, they cannot go back and live in the forest. They are used to having human contact every day and are used to being fed. And they may die if we throw them out in the bush. We want to be role models and educate future generations so this park's conservation can continue. So they may do better than us to protect the gorillas."