Man Has Unique Encounter With A Family Of Wild Mountain Gorillas
It’s always exciting to get up close and personal with wildlife, but for this American hiker, the presence of a family of wild mountain gorillas for him was definitely a heart racing moment. The monkeys were kinder than expected and even spoiled the man with a grooming session. A moving scene was captured on camera!
When wildlife lover John J. King II decided to visit Uganda’s Bwindi National Park, he just wanted to see an endangered species. But he got much more than that. Suddenly King discovers that he is in the middle of a really unexpected encounter after a herd of gorillas decides to visit the camp.
After a completely unique experience, the man was gripped with a mixture of fear and excitement, but in the end he couldn’t believe with his own eyes that this was actually happening. While the person was sitting still, young gorillas were drawn to him with curiosity, probably because adults were watching them closely from a close distance. At the same time, the little ones even climbed on King’s back and started grooming him.
“The trackers told us, sometimes babies might approach you, and so just basically sit there in a docile position and they will usually just move away,” King explained for National Geographic. “One of the babies grabbed my arm in a very gentle way. I just can’t tell you how gentle it was. It was like a young child touching your arm in a way that’s very endearing.”
The group seemed very friendly, but King knew how dangerous silverbacks were, especially for their children, so no action was taken.
“Instead of moving away, it went behind me and started to touch me on the shoulder and on the head in what was obviously grooming,” he said. “When the silverback walked up, I was transfixed and really set upon not engaging his eyes and trying to be docile.”
While still an endangered species according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, less than a decade ago things were much worse for these majestic creatures. There are only 680 individuals in the wild, half of which live in Bwindi National Park. Now, thanks to many conservation programs, things are looking better for this species as their number grew with over 1,000 individuals worldwide.