The photo quickly went viral after the ranger who took the photo, Mathieu Shamavu, posted it online with the caption 'another day in the office.'
Yeah, bet that makes your office job seem a tad less cool now doesn't it! The two orphaned gorillas cheekily posing with the rangers are actually mountain gorillas, a species once on the brink of extinction due to poaching and human activities which have resulted in destruction of their natural habitat.
Even though efforts from conservationist groups have managed to increase the number of mountain gorillas, their numbers still remain dangerously low in the wild and are constantly under threat from humans.
Rangers like Mr. Shamavu risk their lives to protect endangered animals like these mountain gorillas from the likes of poachers and other forms of human incursions. According to the Virunga website over 175 rangers have been killed over the last decade in the line of duty.
Virunga National Park recently put up an official comment about the amazing photo where they said, 'YES, it’s real! Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities!' The post also went on to remind people of the importance of donations to this amazing park, 'Conserving Virunga’s amazing wildlife is a constant challenge for the Park and our work wouldn’t be possible without your support.'
The selfie has unsurprisingly gained plenty of traction amongst anti-poaching groups, and has even been already deemed 'Selfie of the Year no question!' by some... I mean, how would it not be, it'll take some insane going to beat this freakin' amazing photo!
If you've read any of my articles before, you'll know that I love animals above anything (and yes, that includes the snooze button on my alarm!) and to see people working so hard to protect the fantastic creatures and wildlife we have on this planet reminds me why I still have faith in humanity.
Yet every other day it feels like I read something new about the terrible impact we're having on this planet, will some people ever freakin' learn! Thank god we have the likes of these rangers!
Virunga Park houses over 200 species of mammals, 700 species of bird, 22 primate species, and over 170 species of reptiles and amphibians! If you want to donate to this fantastic cause you can do so on their website, the work that not all conservationists do across the planet cannot be understated, because in the end we don't want to leave behind a world that is simply a testament to humanity's selfishness and greed (sorry for getting heavy, but it's freakin' true).