I have talked about my mixed emotions before. My favorite all-time animals that I visit when I go to a zoo are the Gorillas. They are so human-like and when I look into their soulful eyes - which by the way I was once told is a bit rude in the gorilla world - I feel like I am communicating in some way. I hope they will forgive my rudeness because I truly am in awe of these beautiful animals, and never more so than when I can sit near them, albeit with that thick pane of glass between us.
In a perfect world they would be living in their own natural habitat - all animals would - but it's far from a perfect world and I know that if they weren't here I would never have a chance to see them, other than in my wildlife books or in nature shows on the TV.
I had always hoped that one day I would be able to visit the Gorillas in the rainforests of Africa. I had visions of an African Photographic Safari when I was young. I could see myself jumping on the Land Rover and heading out with my camera equipment which would have been worthy of National Geographic. My dreams were way out there.
I always wished I was related to Jane Goodall. Yes, I know her animals are the Chimpanzee but my given name is Goodall and as far as I know Jane and I are not of the same family, though I greatly admire her. (We weren't related to Judge Goodall or the habitual burglar Goodall whose names cropped up in our local newspaper every now and again when I lived in Devon, although my Dad would say, "Hey, our relative is in the news again!" depending on which one made it in print. Dad's idea of a wry joke and Mom would roll her eyes, shake her head and say, "Oh Stanley!" I always wondered if the judge and the burglar were related but apparently didn't wonder enough to find out. We did supposedly have missionaries way back somewhere. Judges and Burglars? Don't think so.)
I am the first one to say "Never say never" but I doubt that there are any African Safari's or trips to see the Highland Gorillas in my future.
Maybe in my next lifetime I'll be that lucky and there will be no need for zoo's. We will all be able to visit them where they truly belong, and there will be no more need to protect them from the dreadful thought of extinction, that we will finally get a clue and know that we have to protect all animals for our future generations to enjoy. After all, as people say rather forebodingly, we might be next, but then I'm an optimist and I will always live in hope. I wonder what our friend below is thinking?
Generally described as gentle giants, these are Western Gorillas. They are found in the lowland tropical rain forests of Africa.
A group of Gorillas living together is called a troup, consisting of anywhere between five to thirty animals. Males can reach from 300 to 500 lbs. (68 to 91 kilograms). They are peaceful, family oriented plant-eaters.
I found these facts at the San Diego Zoo's website.
Camera Critters is a wonderful meme created by Misty Dawn. Thank you Misty!