When I first saw this gorilla, I was immediately struck by what I perceived to be sadness. He looks so deep in thought and I wondered what this beautiful creature was thinking… of family lost, freedom lost and what we humans do in our endless arrogance and greed to other animals on this planet.
I hope that one day, we will realise that they are just as worthy of life and freedom as we would like to believe ourselves to be.
I love painting eyes. However, what I like about this painting is not being able to see the gorilla’s eyes. His posture tells the story.
Gorillas, the largest of the living primates, are ground-dwelling herbivores that inhabit the forests of Africa. The DNA of gorillas is 98%–99% identical to that of a human, and they are the next closest living relatives to humans after the two chimpanzee species.
Gorilla’s are highly endangered, and have been subject to intense poaching for a long time. Threats to gorilla survival include habitat destruction and the bushmeat trade. In 2004 a population of several hundred gorillas in the Odzala National Park, Republic of Congo was essentially wiped out by the Ebola virus.
A 2006 study published in Science concluded that more than 5,000 gorillas may have died in recent outbreaks of the Ebola virus in central Africa. The researchers indicated that in conjunction with commercial hunting of these apes creates “a recipe for rapid ecological extinction”. (Wikipedia)
My thanks to Rocketchook for his kind permission to use his photograph as reference for this painting!!!