Big 5s

Art Wolfe

Photographer

“Of all the animals I have had the pleasure of photographing over the past 40 years, I would have to say the one that made the most lasting impression upon me is the mountain gorilla. I have photographed them numerous times in both Rwanda and Uganda, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, so I’ve had quite a bit of experience with these great creatures.

It can be very easy to get lulled in by their peaceful appearance as I was on one occasion when a Silverback sent me flying over backwards and down the hill as a gentle reminder of just who’s jungle I was visiting.

They are so capable of killing a person without even a moment’s thought. They are so powerful and they are definitely much larger than us, yet you can sit down within two or three feet of a wild mountain gorilla and they’ll come towards you, they will sit down and they will look at you. I really have never felt a threat from these animals,

There’s been physical contact but never to the point where I was really trembling after the experience. I was usually laughing that I got knocked over by a Silverback. The mountain gorillas have been habituated to the degree that they understand what humans are and mostly that they are not a threat. They might have physical contact, but it never goes beyond just kind of a notch. They were just establishing that they were the Silverbacks of that group.

When they have the capacity of neutralize you and they don’t, it tells me that they are highly intelligent, that they have analysed the situation, that they are comfortable with our presence and they are not threatened by it. To be able to be in that close proximity with an animal of that intelligence is really quite rewarding. It’s a lifelong memory.

Gorillas unequivocally are at the top of my list because in the presence of a gorilla you are looking at our ancestors, where there is so much of a connection that you see in their physicality and their emotional expressions. They are so similar to us in many ways.

Their expressions and interactions, especially with young babies, are so human-like it’s easy to see the common connection we share and seeing them living in peaceful harmony with their environment you have to wonder who has made the most with what they’ve been given.”

artwolfe.com
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Photo by Art Wolfe

My Big 5

    Gorilla
    Snow Leopard
    Clouded Leopard
    Tiger
    Elephant

Art Wolfe

Photographer

“Of all the animals I have had the pleasure of photographing over the past 40 years, I would have to say the one that made the most lasting impression upon me is the mountain gorilla. I have photographed them numerous times in both Rwanda and Uganda, and in the Democratic Republic of Congo, so I’ve had quite a bit of experience with these great creatures.

It can be very easy to get lulled in by their peaceful appearance as I was on one occasion when a Silverback sent me flying over backwards and down the hill as a gentle reminder of just who’s jungle I was visiting.

They are so capable of killing a person without even a moment’s thought. They are so powerful and they are definitely much larger than us, yet you can sit down within two or three feet of a wild mountain gorilla and they’ll come towards you, they will sit down and they will look at you. I really have never felt a threat from these animals,

There’s been physical contact but never to the point where I was really trembling after the experience. I was usually laughing that I got knocked over by a Silverback. The mountain gorillas have been habituated to the degree that they understand what humans are and mostly that they are not a threat. They might have physical contact, but it never goes beyond just kind of a notch. They were just establishing that they were the Silverbacks of that group.

When they have the capacity of neutralize you and they don’t, it tells me that they are highly intelligent, that they have analysed the situation, that they are comfortable with our presence and they are not threatened by it. To be able to be in that close proximity with an animal of that intelligence is really quite rewarding. It’s a lifelong memory.

Gorillas unequivocally are at the top of my list because in the presence of a gorilla you are looking at our ancestors, where there is so much of a connection that you see in their physicality and their emotional expressions. They are so similar to us in many ways.

Their expressions and interactions, especially with young babies, are so human-like it’s easy to see the common connection we share and seeing them living in peaceful harmony with their environment you have to wonder who has made the most with what they’ve been given.”

Photo by Art Wolfe

My Big 5

    Gorilla
    Snow Leopard
    Clouded Leopard
    Tiger
    Elephant

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