Have you ever wondered how it feels to befriend wild gorillas? John J. King II experienced this rare opportunity when he visited Uganda in 2011.
He hoped to glimpse the endangered mountain gorillas in Bwindi Impenetrable National Park, home to about 320 of these fantastic creatures – half of the world’s population.
Much to his surprise, King received a warmer welcome from the gorillas than he could have ever imagined.
Watch the video at the end.
On his second day in the rainforest, according to his blog, he came across a gorilla family, observing as the young gorillas played and nursed from their mother.
The gorillas seemed just as intrigued by King. The following day, the family, including the protective father, ventured for three hours to visit King’s camp.
In an extraordinary event, the young gorillas approached and climbed over King, who was crouching with his camera.
Although the gorillas are nonaggressive and used to human presence, such close encounters with adult humans are infrequent, King noted on his blog.
Initially, the father gorilla was uneasy about the interaction, attempting to pull a young one away from King. However, he eventually relented and sat down to watch over the extraordinary interaction.
During the encounter, King received a grooming session, some curious sniffs, and even an attempted head massage from the wild gorillas. After the family moved on, an excited King whispered to the camera, “I’m a gorilla!”
Although staged wildlife encounters are generally discouraged, this spontaneous and organic interaction was an unforgettable experience. “It just happened in a very natural way,” King stated in the video.
“There was no staging or choreographing. It was an innocent interaction with wild gorillas and absolutely thrilling.”
Watch the video below: