Why are the gorillas in this super-cute viral selfie posing like humans?

A photo of two gorillas at a sanctuary in the Democratic Republic of Congo has gone viral because they posed just like humans.

In the selfie taken by a park ranger, female gorillas Ndakazi and Ndeze have a laid-back stance with their arms at their sides and look like they're posing for the cover of an indie rock album.

ANOTHER DAY AT THE OFFICE...Photo: Ranger Mathieu Shamavu (c)NOTE: UNAUTHORIZED USE OF THIS PHOTO WILL BE REPORTED TO FACEBOOK



Posted by The Elite AntiPoaching Units And Combat Trackers. on Thursday, April 18, 2019

“Those gorilla gals are always acting cheeky so this was the perfect shot of their true personalities!" Virunga National Park said in a Facebook post. “Also, it's no surprise to see these girls on their two feet either — most primates are comfortable walking upright (bipedalism) for short bursts of time."

The two female gorillas have lived at the Senkwekwe Center for orphaned mountain gorillas at the park since 2007. They were rescued as newborns after their mothers were killed by poachers.

The park's director, Innocent Mburanumwe, told the BBC that the pair are, indeed, imitating the humans, but it "doesn't happen normally."

“I was very surprised to see it ... so it's very funny," he continued. "It's very curious to see how a gorilla can imitate a human and stand up."

A baby gorilla at Virunga National Park via Joseph King / Flickr

Anthropologist Frans de Waal told The Washington Post that the apes will mimic humans as a way of identifying “with those who take care of them" and that the behavior is a sign of attachment by the orphans.

“Apes are naturally imitative (hence the verb aping) and a parent is imitated more than others," de Waal added.

The viral selfie has also brought attention to the bravery of the park rangers at Virunga National Park. Over 130 have been killed protecting animals at the park since 1996. The government of the Democratic Republic of Congo has been in conflict with armed rebels that live in the park and poach animals.

The 3,120 square mile park was established in 1925 and is one of the first protected areas in Africa.

floschen / Flickr

Photo by Anna Shvets from Pexels
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Increasingly customers are looking for more conscious shopping options. According to a Nielsen survey in 2018, nearly half (48%) of U.S. consumers say they would definitely or probably change their consumption habits to reduce their impact on the environment.

But while many consumers are interested in spending their money on products that are more sustainable, few actually follow through. An article in the 2019 issue of Harvard Business Review revealed that 65% of consumers said they want to buy purpose-driven brands that advocate sustainability, but only about 26% actually do so. It's unclear where this intention gap comes from, but thankfully it's getting more convenient to shop sustainably from many of the retailers you already support.

Amazon recently introduced Climate Pledge Friendly, "a new program to help make it easy for customers to discover and shop for more sustainable products." When you're browsing Amazon, a Climate Pledge Friendly label will appear on more than 45,000 products to signify they have one or more different sustainability certifications which "help preserve the natural world, reducing the carbon footprint of shipments to customers," according to the online retailer.

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In order to distinguish more sustainable products, the program partnered with a wide range of external certifications, including governmental agencies, non-profits, and independent laboratories, all of which have a focus on preserving the natural world.

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Wikiimages by Pixabay, Dr. Jacqueline Antonovich/Twitter

The 1776 Report isn't just bad, it's historically bad, in every way possible.

When journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones published her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1619 Project for The New York Times, some backlash was inevitable. Instead of telling the story of America's creation through the eyes of the colonial architects of our system of government, Hannah-Jones retold it through the eyes of the enslaved Africans who were forced to help build the nation without reaping the benefits of democracy. Though a couple of historical inaccuracies have had to be clarified and corrected, the 1619 Project is groundbreaking, in that it helps give voice to a history that has long been overlooked and underrepresented in our education system.

The 1776 Report, in turn, is a blaring call to return to the whitewashed curriculums that silence that voice.

In September of last year, President Trump blasted the 1619 Project, which he called "toxic propaganda" and "ideological poison" that "will destroy our country." He subsequently created a commission to tell the story of America's founding the way he wanted it told—in the form of a "patriotic education" with all of the dog whistles that that phrase entails.

Mission accomplished, sort of.

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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.