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Selfie from Virunga National Park: why gorillas stand upright

The photo goes viral – why these gorillas are posing as people for a selfie

Today, a selfie has gone over the web thousands of times. A ranger from Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo poses with two gorillas and titles the image "An ordinary day in the office."

Selfie is not that common: The two female mountain gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze stand upright as humans.

To understand their untypical behavior, you need to know their background history. The two gorillas were found as kittens in the summer of 2007 – orphans, because their mothers were killed by poachers. At that time, they were only four months old. Since then, the animals have lived in an orphan mountain gorilla center belonging to Virunga National Park and have grown up by humans.

As the two gorillas grew up with Rangers, they attempt to imitate their human saviors. "So you think these rangers are their parents," says Innocent Mburanumwe. He is the deputy head of Virunga National Park and told the BBC that primates in nature are only rarely on two legs, if they are curious or want to get an overview.

Frans de Waal, a scientist Field of Primatology and psychology professor at Emory University, comes to the same assessment. Animals generally mimic their human caregivers and mimics, such as facial expressions or postures. Because primates have a similar magnitude to humans, it would be even easier for them, Waal told the Washington Post.

The National Park's rangers warn but rude tourists: "We want to emphasize that these gorillas in a secluded sanctuary for orphan gorillas that they have lived in since their childhood." And further: "These are extraordinary circumstances where photography was taken. allowed to approach a gorilla in nature. "

Working as a park ranger, however, is not always as sweet as the pictures above show. Last year, five rangers from the Virunga National Park were killed by rebels, and since 1

996 more than 130 rangers have lost their lives. The Democratic Republic of Congo is in a civil war with several armed groups often seeking refuge in the Virunga National Park. Poaching is a lucrative source of foreign currency. (Käke)

These are some of the most endangered species

This gorilla child sweet thousands of days

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