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Behind our Lens: Gorillas in the mist

Intro

#BehindOurLens is our new way to tell You stories about our pictures. Quite often there is a lot happening when you take a picture, so this rubric will try to create a bit more depth. It will give you insights of the reason why we took the picture, what we felt or what happened after we took it.


Close up of a silverback mountain gorilla in Uganda

Gorillas in the mist

It took me a long time to post a gorilla picture here. The reason is that I really wanted to take a minute to write something meaningful about them. They have such a special place in my heart because they were pretty much on one of the top three things on my bucket list I wanted to see in my life. Seeing them at such a young age moves me even more, positively as negatively.

When I was growing up I loved to go to the Zoo. Growing up in a huge city like Berlin this was my happy nature place. The symbol of this Zoo was a Gorilla, inspired by Bobby, a male gorilla that lived there in the thirties. He was the first gorilla that came to Berlin and therefore easily became the highlight of the zoo. So when I grew up, he was long gone, but still awoke in me a profound interest in him. He has a massive statue in the zoo and is even taxidermies in my favorite museum here in Berlin. Not only his character amazed me, also his modern successors were always one of my favorite stops at the zoo. I was always amazed by them, because they are physically so powerful but move so graciously. 95% of the time they are really calm too.

The first glimpse on one of them in their natural habitat filled me with amazing joy. I usually do not cry, but seeing them, calmly eating their branches, brought me really close to tears. It is unbelievable how similar they are to us humans. They are pretty much the good version of us.

“The first glimpse on one of them in their natural habitat filled me with amazing joy. I usually do not cry, but seeing them, calmly eating their branches, brought me really close to tears. It is unbelievable how similar they are to us humans. They are pretty much the good version of us.”

We developed so much and most people believe that we are superior in everything we do. However, in my opinion, we also lost a ton of good traits in our development, which brings me to the negative side of it. The most severe trait that we lost, in my opinion, is our connection to nature.

You don’t have to be spiritual or a nature lover, but I cannot understand why we are all looking away, while we are destroying all those beautiful things around us. You don’t need to be spiritual to realize that this is not right. So why did I decide to take a credit and fulfill this dream of mine so early in my lifespan, even if it is much too expensive for a graduating student? Simple. I was afraid that they won’t be there when I will finally have enough money to see them in the wild.

Growing up I realized that we destroy this planet at such a speed that I might not be able to keep up with discovering. Today the mountain gorillas are a key symbol for everything that is wrong with us humans. Today there are only 1000 of these magnificent animals left in the wild. Why?

“Growing up I realized that we destroy this planet at such a speed that I might not be able to keep up with discovering.”

We hunted them and killed them for a medical reason and magical powers. But now we know better right? No, we don’t. Today global companies fuel the civil war in the Democratic Republic of the Congo to destroy this World Heritage Site, to dig for oil and other resources. (Watch the movie Virunga (on Netflix) if you want to know more.)

Yes, indeed we created amazing things and soon will habitat new planets. But before we go, shouldn’t we try to learn from our past events, so that history will not repeat itself? Once a friend of mine asked me what the value of nature is. I just replied that it is precious behind compare. But again he asked me. What is the value? Seeing them with my own eyes in their own habitat reminded me that there is no monetary or technologically value that could overweight this natural beauty. At least for me.


I hope you enjoyed this little story and would love to get your feedback. If you want to see the Gorillas yourself, I went to the Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park in Uganda to see them. You will find a list of trustworthy tour operators here. If you want the mountain gorillas to remain you can also donate some money here. Furthermore, did you enjoy this article? Did you see a picture on our social media or on this blog and want to know the story behind it? Then just let me know and I will write an article about it! 

Oliver One Second Author
written by Oliver

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