A heartbreaking photo has sprung up online showing a park ranger comforting a gorilla that lost its mother to poachers.
Pictured above, Patrick Karabaranga, a ranger at the Virunga National Park in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, sits with an orphaned gorilla in the park’s gorilla sanctuary. The bond between them is truly remarkable and the gorilla shows his appreciation for the ranger’s sympathy by placing his hand on the ranger’s leg.
Like other gorillas residing in the sanctuary, this gorilla lost his mother due to poachers, or as a result of illegal traffickers smuggling them out of the park.
With more than 200 mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park accounts for about a quarter of the world’s mountain gorilla population.
What an amazing, powerful photo.