Nearly a year after four mountain gorillas were carried out of the forest — shot and burned — photojournalist Brent Stirton’s photographs of the event are featured on the cover of the July 2008 National Geographic. Stirton, a Circle of Blue collaborator, was on the scene late last July and his images of the event have already been seen in magazines and newspapers across the globe. He described the mood the day the park rangers carried the animals out of the forest in an interview with National Geographic:
“We had a group of men pick up the Silver Back and we’re walking through crops and people are getting out of the way — this unstoppable primal precession. It really meant something to them, not only in terms of the economics of the tourism industry, but the fact that they empathize with these animals. There was some element of them that related to these gorillas as part of who they were, as part of their identity as people of that region.”
Stirton shoots for Getty Images and his work from the front lines of the world’s conflicts and crises is seen regularly in major international magazines. His previous work on the Virunga mountain gorillas was featured in Newsweek. Stirton photographed Divining Destiny for Circle of Blue, an exploration of the Tehuacan Valley of Mexico, a legendary land of water now parching beneath the feet of its people. He also participated in the joint Circle of Blue / Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars event and exhibit, Water Stories.
Stirton talks with Circle of Blue about water and his Mexico coverage here.
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