Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Groom Wore Fur

My sources at Harper's Magazine inform me that "A family of Ugandan mountain gorillas (Gorilla beringei beringei) groomed an American in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest." It seems quite a gentle moment between the gorillas and the tourist:

As you can see from his photo, the fellow did not appear to be in pressing need of such supererogatory grooming, looking much like any American tourist abroad and frankly better than most . . . 

. . . so I can only surmise that the act was an aesthetic or stylistic comment on the part of the gorillas. When it was over, the grateful subject emerged with a new look:

After the gorillas departed the encampment, the tourist explained, "When a 900-lb. gorilla decides his kids are going to groom you, then you pretty much have to go with his sense of what suits."

1 comment:

  1. Extraordinary. Several years ago I saw a picture of an alpha male wolf on the cover of a paperback. The photographer, Ollie Ostermick, was credited and I contacted him through a radio station in Alaska. I asked him if he had any proofs of that picture and he said he did, that they were at his cabin. For a well spent fee, he made a print and sent it to me BEFORE he cashed my check. Ollie said he was sitting under a tree with two comrades when the wolf appeared out of nearby brush, exuded supreme confidence, evaluated the men as posing no threat, and treated them as such. He checked out their bags, picked up one with food in it, and carried it off into brush, dropped it nearby, and left. The picture, head on, was from about ten feet. Ostermick described the experience almost exactly as the man who groomed with apes.