This is the tender – and heartbreaking – moment a gorilla is comforted by a park ranger after its mother was killed by poachers.
Patrick Karabaranga, a ranger at Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, sat with the orphaned gorilla in the park’s gorilla sanctuary. And by the looks of things, the two share a very special bond as Patrick can be seen with his arm around the gorilla, and the gorilla with his hand on Patrick’s leg.
Virunga National Park accounts for about a quarter of the world’s mountain gorilla population, but the area is rife with poaching, and many gorillas in the sanctuary have been orphaned due to poaching or illegal attempts to smuggle them out of the park. Heartbreaking and infuriating.
To help the work that goes on at Virunga National Park, you can donate here.