The gorillas of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo and their wardens have set the internet on fire this week with a series of unbelievable selfies.
Gorillas break the internet with selfie series
The Democratic Republic of Congo is considered to be one of the most important sites in the world for Great Apes with the lush forests boasting gorillas of all varieties, chimpanzees and even the elusive humanlike bonobos. Unfortunately, military turmoil, industrialization and a significant upsurge in poaching have put the traditional territories of these incredible animals at risk in recent years.
The Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is home to a number of gorillas and in a bid to save these animals from the fate of so many others in the Democratic Republic of Congo, it is staffed by no less than six hundred rangers. These rangers work in extraordinarily difficult and dangerous circumstances. Part of their training requires them to learn specialized fighting skills including firearms to prepare for an invasion of the territory by warlords. The Rangers are also given full emergency situation training so that they are prepared for everything.
The rangers are well prepared to risk their lives as in the course of their day to day working, feeling that the dangerous conditions are worth it to protect the amazing wildlife that they have been charged to take care of. Among the gorillas that the Rangers look after are critically endangered varieties such as the Mountain Gorilla.
Despite the difficulties facing the rangers, they have proved this week that there are some perks involved in their jobs including some seriously chilled out co-workers. This image has become an immediate social media hit and is certain to be a meme sensation for months to come.
As well as drawing attention to the plight of these gorillas in the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo and the brave rangers who protect them, the images have also served to show the affectionate nature of the relationship between the gorillas and their human friends. Very wholesome!