Photographer Christophe Courteau was taking snaps of mountain gorillas in the forest of Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park when the group’s 250 kg alpha male charged at him out of the blue.
Amazingly, Courteau managed to get in one last shot of the incoming fist before the punch connected.
Caters News Agency reports that the very disgruntled ape was “drunk”from eating bamboo stems, which ferment in gorilla stomachs causing the animals to become intoxicated.
“In less than a second, he was on me, and strongly hit me like a rugby player. With the shock, I felt all his power and weight on my body,”Courteau recalls.
Courteau notes that his gorilla subjects are usually timid, and tend to avoid close contact with humans. But it seems that getting boozed up on bamboo had made the alpha male rowdy and aggressive – and the unlucky photographer wasn’t even the intended target of the gorilla’s rage.
“He did not care about me, and pushed me out the way with his left hand like I was not there. Then he dashed through the vegetation to chase away a [rival] male behind us who looked to be interested in one of [the] females.”
When the rainy season arrives in this part of Rwanda in October, the area’smountain gorillas migrate to the slopes of the Virunga Mountains and feast on the protein-packed bamboo that’s abundant there – but too much feasting can have intoxicating consequences. And this is not the first time inebriated gorillas have made the news. In 2009, wildlife photographer Andy Rouse had his own encounterwith a gorilla group that appeared to be a little under the influence.
Fortunately, Courteaucame away (almost!) unscathed.“I was not seriously injured in the altercation; I just got a souvenir scar on my forehead. But I will remember this instant all my life long – it was like being hit by a train.”
Images: Caters News Agency
This article was first published by EarthTouch News Network on 10 Feb 2015.
Share on social media:
You may also like:
Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days
- POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2436 Views]
- Trophy Hunter Gets Eaten by Crocodiles [1894 Views]
- Scientists Discover Rare and Endangered Cat in Borneo [974 Views]
- POLL: Should the inter-breeding of lions and tigers be banned? [884 Views]
- POLL: Should wild elephants be sold to Chinese zoos? [839 Views]
- POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for exceeding its bluefin tuna quota? [838 Views]
- POLL: Should the illegal wildlife trade in slow lorises be stopped? [838 Views]
- Rare footage helps explain what Narwhals use their tusks for [793 Views]
- 10 of the Most Endangered Species on Earth [731 Views]
- POLL: Should the giraffe be listed as an endangered species? [727 Views]
Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months
- White Killer Whale Adult Spotted for First Time in Wild [42085 Views]
- POLL: Should there be a worldwide ban on fur farms? [16868 Views]
- Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [12273 Views]
- POLL: Should fur farming be banned in the European Union? [12117 Views]
- POLL: Should Congress disband Wildlife “Killing” Services? [11135 Views]
- POLL: Should driven grouse-shooting be banned? [8655 Views]
- POLL: Should grouse shooting on highland estates be banned? [8291 Views]
- POLL: Should black bears be killed for Royal Guards’ fur caps? [8074 Views]
- POLL: Should China’s dog meat festival be banned? [7437 Views]
- POLL: Should trophy and big game hunting be banned? [5383 Views]