In this blog, I will be discussing a video of particular interest that recently went viral on Facebook and other social media platforms. The video is entitled "Touched by a Wild Mountain Gorilla" and features a very extended, close encounter between a group of researchers and tour guides and a wild gorilla troop, as the troop makes their way through the camping site of the humans in the early morning. It is an incredibly surreal video that touches on the gorilla's interest and respect for humans, but also the awe and vulnerability of humans in their presence. Please watch the video, and the discussion will continue below.
As most people can see, this video has 1.8 million views for a reason. What an incredible experience to witness and interact with a group of gorillas in this way. Most are quick to point out, including some from the video comment posts that the people displayed "excellent correct behavior (submissive) when the male was in front". It is critical in that situation that the humans do not convey aggression, uncertainty, or any other tense or rapid motions. This video was shot in Uganda, a regular destination for eco-tourists and researchers alike. The group of researchers were on-site to study the magnificent creatures, and most do not get the opportunity to see a silverback at this range. As a primate enthusiast, this video almost brought me to tears, as this is truly a moment to cherish and remember based on my shared love and appreciation for primates. Thankfully, with the availability and use of technology, this experience was able to be captured and on the web for all to share in their experience.