Big 1

500mm, 1/500s, f/4, ISO500

I’m not sure if you have come across the New Big 5 Project: basically, an initiative to come up with, obviously, a new big five. The old big five list — lions, elephants, buffaloes, rhinos and leopards — actually originated with hunting, as they were considered the most dangerous of Africa’s wild mammals. More than 150 photographers, conservationists and celebrities have provided their own favuorite (photographic) big five, and the public then voted on it.

As a longtime fan of the Gorilla Highlands region, I’m very happy to announce that the results are in and that gorillas are part of the new big five! They are joined by old-time favourites elephants and lions as well as newcomers polar bears and tigers. Personally, I don’t think a big five is nearly enough: give me a big fifty any day!

This is one of my favourite gorilla photos, taken in Kahuzi-Biega all the way back in 2014. Grauer’s gorillas are, on average, slightly larger than their close relatives, the mountain gorillas, and their fur generally appears to be a bit shorter and not quite as dark.

Don’t miss our extensive interview with Marcus and head to his website for even more.


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