Image: Caters News Agency
Wildlife photographer Christophe Courteau was photographing silverback gorillas in Volcanoes National Park in Rwanda recently when a 550-pound male gorilla suddenly and aggressively rushed him.
According to Caters News Agency, Courteau was taking pictures when the alpha male of the group advanced on him without provocation. Courteau, evidently as seasoned a wildlife photographer as they come, remained composed and kept shooting.
The silverback, named Akarevuro, had spent the day with his family eating bamboo stems. The stems ferment in the stomachs of the gorillas, rendering them intoxicated and impulsive.
Christophe told Caters News Agency,
"Suddenly, Akarevuro, who was stood close to us, just ran at me, but I could not move away as I was taking photos on my knees.
"In less than a second, he was on me, and strongly hit me like a rugby player.
"With the shock, I felt all his power and weight on my body.
"A silverback gorilla like him weights around 250kg, so imagine a 250kg rugby player running straight towards you.
"Normally, they timidly avoid visitors when they move close, but not this time, Akarevuro was too excited and drunk."