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Getting close with gorillas… and, a two year wedding anniversary

August 5, 2012

I just looked up quotes about gorillas in an attempt to tie them in with marriage somehow, and here’s what I came up with: gorilla analogies representing the evolution of a relationship…

First, courtship…

“Watching your daughter being collected by her date feels like handing over a million dollar Stradivarius to a gorilla.” – Jim Bishop

Then the relationship itself…

“It’s a little like wrestling a gorilla. You don’t quit when you’re tired-you quit when the gorilla is tired.” -Robert Strauss

And then a bit later…

“Hair on a man’s chest is thought to denote strength. The gorilla is the most powerful of bipeds and has hair on every place on his body except for his chest.” ― Anton LaVey

Eh??  That kinda works, right?

Well, anyway, Jamie and I went to go visit the mountain gorillas in Kahuzi-Biega National Park to celebrate our two-year wedding anniversary a couple of weekends ago.

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We arrived at the park to met our guides.  The park rangers keep tabs on the 9 gorilla families that live in the park area.  The rangers go out everyday to see where they are and what they’re doing.  The gorillas that people are allowed go visit have gone through a habituation program that gets them used to being around humans.

So, we headed out and trail-blazed our way through the jungle towards the gorillas.  We noticed sweet-smelling fruit dropping from big broad-leaf trees, which our guide told us the gorillas would be snacking on this time of year.  When we reached the spot where the gorillas had spent the night the night before, we saw what the fruit looked like coming out the other end (see photo in slideshow)…

A little further on, we found our gorillas.  We came upon a small group, part of a bigger family- one big papa silverback, one mama and baby, and a couple of younger males hanging out in the trees.


We were able to get up around 15 feet away from them at one point, and what was amazing about it was that they basically pretended we weren’t there.  They didn’t get nervous or fidgety or scared… they just kept eating fruit and leaves and ignored us.  Occasionally mama and papa gorilla would make grunting noises, and once one of the teenagers in the trees made a quick fist-pound on his chest.

The baby gorilla noticed us a little more- he stared at us, not really sure what to make of the situation


It was an incredible adventure, definitely worthy of commemorating an incredible 2 years together.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Aunt Melodee permalink
    August 5, 2012 6:45 pm

    Wow, another amazing post, thank you guys for making us feel like we are there 🙂

  2. August 15, 2012 9:07 pm

    That is so awesome. For all the time I’ve spent in country, I’ve never seen the gorillas! It’s still on my lifetime to-do list. What a great anniversary idea!

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