Gorilla eyes
Image by eurodrifter via Flickr

Did you know?…

Gorillas have a DNA structure which is 98 to 99% identical to humans. They have individual fingerprints, just like us, and they are considered “highly intelligent”. They can communicate through sign language and the only thing that stops them from talking is a glottic ability and social stimulation. Dian Fossey, through her brilliant research in Rwanda, from which was created the Work Gorillas in the Mist, disproved all “misconceptions and myths” about the gorillas, demonstrating that they have, just like the humans, a society where relationships between individuals and as a group prevail. This Work originated, in 1988, an extraordinary movie, where Sigourney Weaver, impersonating Dian Fossey, has an outstanding participation.

Detail about those relationships and the lost link between primates and humans are very well explained in Le Paradigme Perdu, written by Edgar Morin in 1973. This is an Anthropological study which, rather than explore the contrasts between human and animal characteristics, looks for the Man through “his multiple births, since the Origins”.

Still, in spite of this all acquired knowledge, some gorillas still live the way you see below.

What did I do to deserve this?

What did I do to deserve this?

Look at me!

I have a heart that beats

Like yours

Stronger with emotion,

Faster with fear…

I have a hand that holds

Like yours

Caresses with tenderness,

Draws with passion,

Like yours!

I have infinity in my eyes,

Dreams so wild,

Like yours;

A spark of intelligence

Like yours…

Abstract thinking

Like yours

Imagination, who knows…

Like yours.

You don’t know.

Did you ever talk to me?

You can’t understand…

Why am I not free?

I close my eyes

See the trees

So far away…

But I can’t reach!

One love,

One family

Like yours…

But I can’t see

Only the cage bars

And people looking at me

As at the strangest thing.

A toy

With no feelings.

And after all

We all know

The same Tree.

Instead of learning and appreciating all this Beauty that surrounds us, we keep locking it in cages. Why?

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2 Responses to “Why?”

  1. Uncle Tree Says:

    Hello! It’s me!

    It is a sad story, and a continuing saga.
    “We’re doing it for their own good. We’re protecting them.”
    Yeah, right. I don’t go to zoos anymore. “Why?” is spot on.

    I love anthropology! I’ve read a bit. Margaret Mead got me started.

    You did well with your prose piece! It’s simple and direct.
    Why the majority of people don’t understand it, I don’t know.

    I finished a new piece yesterday. It is about freedom, too.
    Give the great apes their own Independence Day, I say!
    Why not? They can come and hang out on this Tree anytime.

  2. Absolutely fantastic your words, Uncle Tree. I too would like to hang out with them. I was very interested in this project of Sign Language in the past (and still am), until I found out that someone like me, with no resources, just can’t do it.
    I just wish this world was different.
    Did you read Earth Children Series already (begins with The Clan of the Cave Bear). It is awesome. If you didn’t, give it a try.

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