Man and gorillas share a lot of similarities as from an evolutionary perspective we are some kind of distant relatives. During the last years, their population has shrunk by actions of man and it is our responsibility and a kind of emotional duty to preserve their natural habitat and protect their populations. These concerns made multi-millionaire Damian Aspinall create The Aspinall Foundation who has been one of the leading foundations who decided to take action for the gorillas. When Damian was starting the foundation though he couldn’t imagine what would happen years later when he decided to introduce his wife to some of the gorillas he once rescued in the first days of his actions.
20. Gorilla Protection Project
Damian Aspinall led the gorilla protection program back in 2003 and managed to rescue and transfer gorillas into the Batéké Plateau National Park in Gabon where these majestic creatures would be safe. During this process he bonded especially with two little gorillas named Djanta and Ima, knowing little about how much of an impact bond will have on his marriage.
19. The Two Gorillas
The two gorillas named Djanta and Ima were babies when Damian rescued them. Damian, once he made sure that they were safe, said his goodbyes and left. Damian hadn’t have seen the gorillas for over a decade the day he made that fateful decision.
18. The decision
Damian decided to make a trip back to Africa and introduce the two gorillas to his wife Victoria. He wanted to see how the gorillas have grown in the wild and of course, show his wife the results of his work. Despite being a little concerned and afraid of how the gorillas would react or if they would still remember him he realized that he had to make this trip a reality. Was it a wise choice, though?
17. Back To Africa
Damian and Victoria arrived in Gabon and reached the Headquarters in Batéké Plateau National Park. Then after preparing for the trip and getting some rest they boarded on a boat and headed into the heart of the tropical forest. In order to reach the site that the gorillas were last seen they had to travel down the Niari river for several miles and there was a big challenge that would have to deal with in order to see the gorillas again.
16. Tracking Down The Gorillas
As the tropical jungle was vast they had to really work hard in order to find the gorillas. The foundation luckily had kept data about the locations of the gorillas which made the task of actually finding them easier. Smartly Damian and Victoria employed a drone connected to Damian’s phone and began to scan the area where the gorillas seemed to have installed in the last weeks.
15. Finally Found Them
After quite some time the camera of the drone caught the two gorillas hanging out in the forest only some miles away from the boat Damian, Victoria and some of the Aspinall foundation crew were. The crew managed to drive the boat to the nearest site that the multi-millionaire couple could step out of the boat to approach the gorillas. No one seemed to realize what could happen next!
14. The First Reaction
The couple managed to get as close to the gorillas as it would be safe given that their reaction couldn’t be predicted. Gorillas can be more than 280 pounds and have a lot of strength and such encounter with these majestic beasts has to be conducted with extra care. The gorillas appeared to be confused when they saw the couple and didn’t seem to remember Damian. Damian realized that he had to step up.
13. Getting Closer
Damian decided to risk it all and get closer to the gorillas in an attempt to make them realize who he was. He managed to be on their level, making sure that they didn’t consider him as a threat. Then out of nowhere, the gorillas seemed to realize that the man who was only feet away from them was the man who saved them over a decade ago.
12. Introducing His Wife
Still, the gorillas seemed to be concerned… They recognized Damian but they kept a safe distance from Victoria who was a complete stranger to them. They appeared to be concerned about her presence and give signals that she was unwanted there. Victoria, despite being afraid trusted her husband’s encouragements and took a step closer to them. What happened next shocked the couple more than they could have ever imagined.
11. They Accepted Victoria
As Victoria with careful slow movements settled next to her husband the gorillas couldn’t hide their true feelings any longer. Victoria had gained their trust!
10. Examining Her
The two fully grown gorillas moved towards Victoria and started examining their old friend’s wife but instead of doing any harm to her they leaned to her side and hugged her. They were indeed very curious about her but treated her gently like they were caring for her. What had happened?
9. Somehow They Knew
The gorillas somehow seemed to understand how important Victoria was to Damian. It was like they immediately realized that their old friend’s wife was their friend too!
8. Accepting Her To The Community
The gorillas were finally comfortable with Victoria and instantly made her a part of their community! They treated her with care as if she were one of their young.
7. Part Of Their Family Too
Of course with the recent approval of Victoria, the couple made them a part of their family too by wearing the hats of the foundation. They seemed to make a special bond with Victoria just like they did with Damian years ago.
6. Victoria’s Emotions
Victoria couldn’t believe that this trip to Africa will make her realize that she had two weird type of children there.
5. Grateful To Her Too
The gorillas showed Victoria respect, thanking her however they could as if they realized that part of Damian’s inspiration and motivation sourced from this woman. But did their attention was focused only on Victoria?
4. Attention To Damian Too
After they were done with their new friend and “mother” the gorillas barreled to Damian and reunited formally with their old friend, showing him love and understanding for what he’d done for them.
3. Full- Grown And Healthy
The gorillas had grown fully and after some quick test Damian managed to do to them, it appeared that their health was perfect. Damian couldn’t be happier for his two lost friends.
2. Dream Came True
Damian couldn’t ask for more. He finally saw his two friends after a long time and introduced to them the most important person in his life… and on top of that they all got along fairly quickly.
1. Time For Goodbyes
After Damian and Victoria spent the whole afternoon with the gorillas it was time for goodbyes. Obviously, the goodbyes were hard for both Damian and Victoria but they promised to come back soon to visit them and make a second reunion a reality!