Friday, October 8, 2010

Camera Critters

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!


  1. Denise, this post is superb!!! Thank you!

    I found your narrative poignant. It is sad that these beasts are "incarcerated" far from their homeland. Why are zoos necessary, one might ask.

    I am amazed that your photos turned out so well, despite being shot through glass. I guess you turned your flash off.

    Thanks again!

  2. Great post, Denise... You got some great pictures of the Gorilla... He does look rather sad, doesn't he???? YES---they need to be in their own environment... Think that will ever happen????

    Have a great weekend.

  3. Great post on the Gorillas, Denise. I always wanted to go on an African safari. You got some awesome shots of the gorillas as the San Diego zoo though.

  4. That was a lovely post Denise with great photos.
    I think you could have been anything you wanted to be.

  5. Your photographs of the gorilla are wonderful. I enjoyed reading your thoughts too. It would be great if wild animals were free to live in their natural habitats.

  6. Magnificent creatures... so sad though to see them in captivity.

  7. They are truly beautiful and majestic animals. You have captured them well with your camera and put a lovely post here.

  8. These are truly amazing shots and I think you captured them perfectly. I feel the same in that when watching them, I feel as if I can communicate with them. Gorgeous animals.

  9. Great post, Denise, and yes, a poignant narrative. I've seen the gorillas at the San Diego Zoo and I know it's a nice place, but they can't be happy to be there, except perhaps the ones who were born there.
    I still have dreams of a camera safari in Africa, but I have trouble figuring out how to get there, as I can't handle either long flights or long days of travel involving changing planes. Sigh.
    My particular dream involves Olduvai Gorge where the Leakeys found one of the earliest hominids.
    Perhaps there's a ship I can take to Africa. That would be more restful than two or three different plane flights.
    -- Kay, Alberta

  10. Lovely shots - I too prefer to visit the Gorillas and all the monkeys at the zoo. They do have such intense expressions.

  11. You spoke my own thoughts today!

    Great shots, Denise-

    Warm Aloha from Waikiki

    Comfort Spiral

  12. Your thoughts made me ask myself what animal am I closest to myself. Those gorillas are so human like, as if they know they re being photographed.

  13. What majestic looking animals.

    Nubbin wiggles,

  14. You know..when we take pictures of things we like- it does reflect on the quality! I mean, each of these are a pose if I ever saw one! Fantastic...and I certainly agree with what you said- in another world. I'm still fuming about our dumb sticks over here (fish and wild life) they have some kind of feather their on- to go after (pea cocks and egrets mind in slaughter (good thing for public outcry) 18 p.ccoks. and 80 egrets- because they aren't native!! not to mention plant life..ok, enough!!
    I enjoyed these and hope your having a wonderful weekend!

  15. I was wishing you a great weekend and pushed the enter key..that was me- Regina..(smile)

  16. They truly are amazing animals and it's a crime we humans are killing them off. GREAT photos, Denise!

  17. Gorgeous!

    Hope you can visit my camera critter post too. Have a safe weekend!

  18. The gorillas at the SD Zoo are just great. Love your photos.

  19. Magic shots of a wonderful animal. They look fairly happy there. I've seen some awful documentaries about how their habitat is dwindling in the wild.
    When Greg retires pack your bags and go on an African Safari. Just do it. Live your dreams.

  20. I remember the first time I saw a gorilla at the San Diego zoo; it was our honeymoon in 1978. I was awestruck by this wonderful creature. I think I stayed and watched it for half an hour and had to visit it again before we left. There is just something intriguing about them. Of course, I wish all animals were in their natural habitat. It is sad to see them in cages or small spaces.
    ~ Julie

  21. wonderful photos....when my girls were little we used to love to visit the philadephia zoo and spent hours watching the animals...the gorillas were some of my favorites. I wanted so much to know what they were thinking watching me and my kids.

  22. Lovely post and pictures, Denise.