14th Annual Smithsonian.com Photo Contest
Gorilla grooming, the hair stylist is in!
The mist rises. I am hoisted up in a basket by four porters since my hiking skills are not great for a hike through a potato field. I climb a rickety A-frame type barricade over the rock wall of the Volcanoes National Park. I continue by basket straight up the slopes of the Virunga Mountains to 9000 ft. Gorilla trackers appear indicating that the eight of us in our group have arrived within steps of the gorilla group, a welcome sight. Kwitonda, the silverback, sits watching over his family of 28 that are intently munching on thistle and all types of tender and not so tender greenery. I meander through the roly poly bodies chest-beating, biting, and play fighting. I come upon this group of three. I call it the salon. One gorilla, the groomer hair stylist, moistens the hairs on the heads of her "clients." She then deftly forms peaks in a row from the front of the forehead to the back of the head. I quickly photograph the gorilla Mohawk!
© Marilyn Adelman.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 30, 2016, 4:47 p.m.