It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to harm animals, but it’s undeniable that killing endangered species for their fur, tusks, and other “valuable” parts is big business in many countries. Thankfully, groups like the Elite Anti-Poaching Units And Combat Trackers exist to help protect those very animals and they risk their own lives on a daily basis to do so. That being said, they do get a bit of a treat for their hard work, like selfies with gorillas and other animals!
- The Elite Anti-Poaching Units and Combat Trackers work at Virunga National Park. Virunga, located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, is the oldest national park in Africa. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is well-known for its sheer variety and abundance of wildlife. Of course, that also makes it a target for poachers, hence the need for the rangers.
- There are 600 rangers on constant patrol at Virunga. The men and women who take on the job undergo extensive training for the position, which makes sense. After all, some of the poachers are so desperate to harm the animals that they wouldn’t hesitate to harm the rangers either. It’s important that they’re on guard at all times and prepared to stop that from happening. Needless to say, the animals are pretty happy about that!
- The staff taking selfies with gorillas and other animals at Virunga isn’t uncommon. For instance, two of the gorillas at the park were orphaned at birth and raised by human caretakers, hence their willingness to interact with people. They’re naturally curious and they trust the caretakers, so they’re quite happy to pose for a few photos here and there.
- No, gorillas don’t usually stand on their two hind legs. However, as the park’s deputy director explained in an interview with the BBC, these two had never seen a car before and were therefore really curious about it, hence the upright position. Thankfully, Ranger Mathieu Shamavu had a camera ready to catch the moment!
- These rangers are doing incredible work. Well done to them for keeping these beautiful animals safe. They deserve so much respect and admiration!