In the summer of 2017, Damian Aspinall and his wife, Victoria, took the trip of a lifetime. As the chairman of the Aspinall Foundation — a group that protects the habitats of gorillas — he was excited to introduce his wife to two of the gorillas he had helped rescue and transfer more than a decade ago.
Damian had been an integral part of the team that worked to rescue and transport two male gorillas, Djalta and Ima, to a new home. Having spent lots of time with the animals, Damian formed a special bond with them. But it had been nearly 14 years since Damian had seen the animals, and he was unsure how the strong animals would react to seeing him and his wife. He never expected the encounter to turn out how it did.
The Trip of a Lifetime
Gorillas are one of the most amazing species on the planet. These beautiful creatures display many human-like behaviors and emotions, likes happiness and sadness. But Gorillas face the constant danger of their habitats being destroyed. That’s why certain groups like the Aspinall Foundation work to preserve their habitats and protect the gorilla population.
Gorillas Djalta and Ima were previously living in the Howletts Wild Animal Park in Kent when the Aspinall Foundation sponsored their transportation to Gabon. Here, they would be safe. During the time Damian spent working on the project, he formed a special bond with Djalta and Ima and was very curious to see how they had changed since then. So Damian, Victoria, and a small crew set off for Gabon.