Item Number: 2789LR
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ABOUT THE IMAGE:
In seeing Thomas D. Mangelsen’s portrait Gentle Giant—The Silverback
, it might be shocking for some viewers to contemplate this fact: It was only a few generations ago that humans hunted mountain gorillas legally for sport. Although that era has fortunately passed, mountain gorillas are critically imperiled today in the wild, their persistence threatened by bush meat hunters, poachers, accidental killing related to military conflicts in central Africa and loss of habitat.
Gorillas are the largest of primates on earth, with only a few degrees of genetic difference separating them from Homo sapiens. But both are united by a common ancestry as well as abilities to engage in deep-thinking and deep-feeling. It is evident in social behavior.
“I owe my dear friend, Dr. Jane Goodall, profound gratitude for not only educating the world about the higher intelligence of primates but in making their plight very real to me. She was the one who foremost said that I could make a difference by blending wildlife photography with messages of conservation,” Mangelsen explains.
“No other photograph I’ve ever taken has caused more introspection. When I look at it, I see ourselves looking back,” Mangelsen says. It is my deepest wish that when you peer into the eyes of this silverback, you, too, feel empathy.”
is the result of a trip Mangelsen took to the Virunga Mountains, part of Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda.