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Saturday, 01 February 2014

Bwindi Jungles' Gorillas - Page 2

Written by Jake Graffy
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I continued to focus on the intricacies of the silver back in his domain. He sat cross legged almost mirroring my stance, only he was seemingly less impressed at my presence. Hands with palms traced with lines leading to fingers then nails only magnified on him, were immensely humane. Eyes set back in an aged face showing the furrows of his experience were encompassed by thick black hair that stared straight through me; and I just stared right back with pure respect.


Just as my heart rate began to settle in my chest, the broad bare back of the silver boss arched into action. Three meters soon became two, two became one, and sitting stealthily still in the hope he had merely identified a fresh bamboo patch behind me, he passively patrolled past to rest upon the trunk of a tree well accustomed to his stature.


This triggered a notion of acceptance, that we could, only with the utmost respect, enjoy sharing their company for a limited time.


We sat and walked with the family for a further hour until my comfort level increased, allowing me to even start passing shoots of forest foliage to the dominant female in the group. The ease with which she stripped the bark from the branch was humbling, and the sight of her three inch canines puncturing the wood reinforced my gratitude for one of the worlds most powerful creations being not only vegetarian, but so welcoming, diffusing any false sense of hostility in the air.


The time comes to leave the forest and with difficulty I force myself to capture every sight, sound, scent and detail of these creatures in this place to remember and visualize whenever the bustle of a modern world distances me too much from the truth of our roots.


The trek back toward the scarcely populated perimeter of Uganda's forest leads us through pigmy settlements, where we are greeted by a few in some foreign tongue on their way to drop off firewood currently balanced skillfully at the crown of their heads. One last look back into the jungle and it comforts me to know these animals are protected whilst living so easily. The day was one of the highlights of the last nineteen years of my life.



©Jake Graffy


(Page 2 of 2)
Last modified on Thursday, 20 March 2014

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