mother and child

mother and child, gorillas nc zoo

I share this photo with deep love and reverence for gorillas everywhere.

Last week Bomassa–the beautiful baby boy gorilla in the photo above–celebrated his 1-year-birthday at the NC Zoo. I had the audacity to capture (perhaps steal) this moment between mother and child, last year, just about one week after Bomassa’s birth.

I wept for joy as I felt so very privileged to witness this sacred moment between a mother and child.

I wept in the irony of the moment, riveted by Jamani, Bomassa’s mama, caring and carrying her little newborn son in captivity before 30 breathtaken humans.

I wept for the juxtaposition of the moment: Me witnessing these sacred animals in just one moment of their daily life at the Zoo; one of many voyeurs the “free” side of a very thick and protective glass. A clear wall separating us yet uniting us in a mutual experience of the other.

I am grateful to Jamani for her presence in the zoo, despite the reality that living here was not her direct choice.

There is obviously much controversy around animals in captivity, but I feel grateful to these sacred beings for their presence. They captivate, intrigue and educate us. Captive gorillas impress upon our smaller human hearts.

I wish countless blessings upon these immense, powerful, wise and wordless beings. I wonder … What do they wish for?


2 thoughts on “mother and child

  1. Great question: “What do they wish for?” They obviously have the capacity to love, feel joy and anger and grief. Can they imagine? Can they wish? My dogs can wish I’d share my chicken with them, but the stimulus is right before them. Can a gorilla wish for freedom?

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