Gorillas Pose With Anti-Poaching Ranger For The World’s Best Selfie

There have been plenty of great selfies in the running for “world’s best selfie” over the years… like this one snapped in 2014 at the Oscars:

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Or this 2017 Met Gala selfie taken by Kylie Jenner:

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Around here, we prefer animal selfies over celebrity selfies… because animals are cooler, especially when they pose with anti-poaching rangers fighting for the rights of animals without a voice.

The latest selfie to go viral just might be the best in the world. It features Patrick Sadiki, an anti-poaching ranger who operates out of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The best part of all? He was photobombed by two critically endangered Mountain Gorillas.

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Looking at the selfie is pure wild. Not only do you see the incredible similarities between humans and gorillas (side note: gorillas share over 98% of their DNA with humans), but the gorillas appear to be aware of the camera and even imitate a similar pose to Patrick.

But wait, that’s not all! Patrick also captured this selfie with two gorillas squeezing their way into the frame.

Facebook/The Elite AntiPoaching Units and Combat Trackers

“Family Portrait,” he writes as the caption.

Mountain gorillas are incredibly shy! In fact, they will never chase down a human if you are facing them while looking right into their eyes. That doesn’t mean they can’t be aggressive when threatened.

An angry mountain gorilla will beat his or her chest while releasing grunts and roars.  Group leaders take charge at any threats, and mothers are known to fight to the death when it comes to protecting their babies.

In other words, don’t try this selfie at home!

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As 2018 comes to an end, Virunga's Chief Warden, Emmanuel de Merode, shares some of the highlights and challenges that the Park has experienced this year. Please click the link in our bio to read his personal note to you, our extended family, and as always we thank you so much for being a part of our team. It has been a pleasure welcoming you on our journey into Virunga these last few weeks and we encourage you to continue to follow us this week as we meet some of the teams that are working hard to protect the Park, its wildlife and communities. And from all of us here at Virunga National Park, we wish you a safe and wonderful holiday season! #congo #drc #rdc #virunga #virunganationalpark #journeyintovirunga #teamvirunga #virginmoneygiving #giftofconservation #giving #christmas #newyear

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Virunga National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most biodiverse protected sites in the whole world.

For over twenty years, the incredible region has been fraught with armed conflict.

Thankfully, the area is protected by 600 brave Rangers who risk their lives every day to protect nature and the beautiful animals who reside here.

The team is comprised of both men and women who undergo extensive training to protect the Park’s miraculous wealth of wildlife.

Their number one goal is to protect and maintain the region’s vast biodiversity. At the top of their list is protecting the last of the endangered Mountain Gorillas.

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You’ll only find mountain gorillas living in Africa. And with fewer than 900 left, mountain gorillas are one of the rarest animal species in the world.

Mountain gorillas are a subspecies of the eastern gorilla. They are considered gentle and shy, residing in groups ranging from 2 to 30 individuals. The pack is led by a dominant elder male who is referred to as the silverback, thanks to the grey strip of hair that runs down his back.

You can identify a mountain gorilla by taking note of his or her long hair, teeth, and jaw. In addition, they have shorter arms than the lowland gorilla.

Mountain gorillas feast on a wide variety of plants – 142 plant species to be exact. They mainly eat stems, leaves, and shoots, along with a few fruits. An adult female can eat over 40 pounds of vegetation in a given day, while males eat more than 75 pounds!

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Virunga is home to around one-third of the world’s endangered mountain gorillas as well as four gorillas who reside in the Senkwekwe Center, the only facility in the world that cares for mountain gorillas in captivity. Located at the Park HQ in Rumangabo, the Center’s inhabitants—Ndeze, Ndakasi, Matabishi, Musuka and bushbuck Pongo—were each victims of poachers or animal traffickers as infants. The orphans are cared for by Senkwekwe’s dedicated staff whose extraordinary work would not be possible without the help of individuals and organizations from around the world who have stepped up to support conservation efforts in Virunga.  Senkwekwe Center is a unique sanctuary offering the orphaned gorillas the chance to lead happy and secure lives in the lush forest enclosure, which was recently expanded this year. To support the mountain orphan gorillas of Senkwekwe and other projects like this one, please consider a donation to Virunga by clicking the link in our bio #congo #drc #rdc #virunga #virunganationalpark #journeyintovirunga #giftofconservation #giving #senkwekwe #mountaingorilla #conservation #teamvirunga #christmas #newyear

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Situated in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Virunga National Park is unlike anywhere else in the world.

The park is also dedicated to supporting local communities. Their vision involves “responsibly harnessing the Park’s natural resources to create new opportunities for the four million people that live within a day’s walk of its borders.”

Their focus lies in three core areas: hydropower, sustainable agriculture and fisheries, and tourism.

They continually strive to economically transform the region by creating jobs and diminishing poverty rates.

Using innovation and a community-based approach, they strive to reduce the pressures encountered by Park Rangers including illegal poaching, land encroachment, and armed groups.

The park stretches 3,000 square miles and is broken up into three sections: northern, central, and southern. Each individual area contains unrivaled diversity with sweeping landscapes and eco systems.

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Cultivating peace and stability is tied to the Park’s ability to harness the wealth of the Park to help build new jobs and opportunities for the local population. Meet Virunga Energy, the team working hard to provide sustainable and clean energy for the region of eastern Congo–kick starting a green economy, creating thousands of jobs and curbing production of illegal charcoal. Please consider a donation to Virunga by clicking the link in our bio. Your support is so important to the continued survival of the Park and we thank you in advance for considering us. #congo #drc #rdc #virunga #virunganationalpark #journeyintovirunga #virginmoneygiving #giftofconservation #giving #teamvirunga #virungaalliance #sustainableenergy #greeneconomy #christmas #newyear

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The biodiversity found here is unimaginable…

  • There are 218 unique mammals that reside here including forest and savannah elephants, hippos, lions, okapis, and the beloved mountain gorillas.
  • There are 706 bird species, that’s more than the total number of bird species in the US and three times more than can be found in the UK.
  • In addition, there are 109 documented reptile species slithering through the region.
  • There are 78 amphibian species – this is the highest number in the entire Albertine Rift, which includes portions of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi and Tanzania.
  • The area is home to 22 primate species, including three great apes – the mountain gorilla, eastern lowland gorilla, and eastern chimpanzee.

Want to support the efforts of these heroic Rangers?

You can make a donation to help protect Africa’s oldest National Park.

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You might have recently seen caretakers Mathieu and Patrick’s amazing selfie with female orphaned gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze inside the Senkwekwe center at Virunga National Park. We’ve received dozens of messages about the photo. YES, it’s real! Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities! Also, it’s no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either—most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time. Guys, if you shared our gorilla selfie post, please share our Earth Day posts as well! Conserving Virunga’s amazing wildlife is a constant challenge for the Park and our work wouldn’t be possible without your support. Matching funds have been pledged on every donation to the Park today, up to a total of $25,000—giving us the opportunity to raise $50,000 for Virunga! Visit virunga.org/donate or click the link in our bio to get involved and keep sharing our posts! Thank you! *We want to emphasize that these gorillas are in an enclosed sanctuary for orphans to which they have lived since infancy. The caretakers at Senkwekwe take great care to not put the health of the gorillas in danger. These are exceptional circumstances in which the photo was taken. It is never permitted to approach a gorilla in the wild. #gorillaselfie #gorilla #mountaingorilla #mountaingorillaselfie #selfie #earthday #earthday2019 #virunga #virunganationalpark #congo #drcongo #rdc #drc #protecttheplanet #happyearthday #wildlife #wildlifeconservation #conservation #natureconservation

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