Gorillas Pose for a Selfie with Virunga National Park’s Anti-Poaching Rangers

Anti poachers guarding the gorillas selfie from r/interestingasfuck

Illegal hunting and poaching is a major threat to many endangered species, but it’s particularly harmful to mountain gorillas. There are only around 680 left in the wild, and their numbers continue to dwindle. However, there are some organizations that make it their mission to protect the species and increase its population. One environment where gorillas are safe from poaching is Virunga National Park—Africa’s oldest national park.

The UNESCO world heritage site recently posted a photo on social media showing two of their female gorillas posing next to two of the park’s caretakers, Mathieu and Patrick. The now viral selfie shows just how human-like these amazing animals are—both gorillas are captured standing upright and staring confidently at the camera. “Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities,” Virunga National Park states on Facebook. “Also, it’s no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either—most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time.”

The park and the diverse range of wildlife living there are protected by around 600 dedicated rangers. Each ranger undergoes intense training as it can be an incredibly difficult and dangerous job. Sadly, 179 rangers have lost their lives while protecting these animals. However, the park’s social media updates show just how fun it can be, too. Other heartwarming images show the caretakers cuddling and playing with the gorillas—it’s clear to see the special bond they have.

If you want to help Virunga National Park on its mission to protect gorillas and other endangered species, you can donate online. $8 can buy a pair of boots for a ranger, $32 covers the cost of a ranger’s family health insurance, and $150 can feed an orphaned gorilla for two weeks.

For even more gorilla photos, you can check Virunga National Park’s Instagram.

This viral photo shows two female gorillas posing for a selfie with two of Virunga National Park’s anti-poaching rangers.

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Apr 22, 2019 at 4:03am PDT

Other images show the special bond these dedicated caretakers have with the endangered species.

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Sep 22, 2018 at 3:47am PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Mar 28, 2018 at 10:33am PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Apr 22, 2017 at 5:17am PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Mar 24, 2017 at 11:48am PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Mar 19, 2017 at 1:09pm PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Feb 5, 2017 at 4:55am PST

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Sep 27, 2016 at 10:12am PDT

 

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A post shared by Virunga National Park (@virunganationalpark) on Jun 21, 2018 at 1:13pm PDT

Virunga National Park: Website | Facebook | Instagram
h/t: [Bored Panda, Reddit]

All images via Virunga National Park.

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National Geographic is Sharing Photos of Endangered Species This Summer to Help Save Their Lives

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