The idea that anyone would hunt a gorilla at all makes me furious and sad. I live literally just minutes from the San Diego Safari Park, which is the sister location to what I believe is the best zoo on the planet, the San Diego Zoo. I’ve fortunately been able to visit the Safari Park’s gorilla exhibit numerous times, and it always strikes me how very similar we humans are to gorillas.
They’re beautiful, massive creatures that display so many human traits of social behavior that it feels like poachers who’d hunt them are hunting our cousins in a way. It also seems really stupid because gorillas, especially the silverback alpha males, could really do some damage to you if they got one of their massive hands on you. Of course, that’s probably why cowardly poachers use firearms from a “safe” distance to hunt them.
Thankfully, even where gorillas live naturally, there are anti-poacher activists looking out for our primate friends. Recently, in the Virunga National Park located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a group of the activist posed for ridiculously cute selfies with some gorillas and posted them to their Facebook page called, “The Elite AntiPoaching Units And Combat Trackers.”
The selfies that the rangers took are getting so much attention precisely because they remind us all how closely related to the gorillas we are. They’re truly some of the funniest and heartwarming photos you could hope for on the tragic subjectg of gorilla poaching.
I mean…just look at the preening gorillas in the background. Can you not see two humans posing in the exact same way as one of their friends takes a selfie? I’m also just gonna come out and say that I’m ready for whatever album this is the cover for to drop.
And this one seems like just three chill friends enjoying a day at the park. I’m truly gobsmacked at the idea of anyone seeing these selfies and still hunting them.
That anyone would hunt any species on the endangered or threatened list is just beyond my ability to comprehend. I’m not anti-hunting per se, provided it’s done ethically and the animals being hunted aren’t in danger of becoming extinct. Gorillas have been an endangered species for many years, so it boggles my mind that these rangers would still have to be so vigilant about fending off attacks on them.
Of course, if you were ask me to pose with a gorilla, I would likely politely decline. At any given point, they might become agitated by me, and anyone who knows me well enough knows that’s a distinct possiblity at all times. And then what happens? I get gorilla slapped, and I’d much rather the poachers get that treatment, thanks very much.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook and Instagram, but not Twitter because he has a potty mouth.