A heartbreaking photo has sprung up online showing a park ranger comforting a gorilla that lost its mother to poachers.
Pictured above, Patrick Karabaranga, a ranger at the Virunga National Park in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo, sits with an orphaned gorilla in the park’s gorilla sanctuary.
The bond between them is truly touching and the gorilla shows his appreciation for the sympathy by placing his hand on the ranger’s leg.
Like other gorillas residing in the sanctuary, this gorilla lost his mother due to poachers, like the other three orphans currently living in the sanctuary, or as a result of illegal attempts by traffickers to smuggle them out of the park.
With more than 200 mountain gorillas, Virunga National Park accounts for about a quarter of the world’s mountain gorilla population.