2021 Edition

Kathleen Ricker

Gorilla by the water


Category - Incredible Wildlife

Photographer of the year
Gorilla by the water

“An animal lover and conservation advocate from a young age, 8 years ago I started planning an adventure around the world to witness and photograph wildlife in its natural habitat. On my first trek into Bwindi National Park Kathleen, I fell in love with Mountain Gorillas and have since gone to trek with them 10 times. On my 10th trip, I was treated with the experience of a lifetime. On this trek in January 2020, I led a group of photographers to meet the Nkuringo Family. This family is one of the original families that was habituated for trekking with. They were led by a beautiful male silverback named Rafiki who was sadly killed by a poacher, in June 2020. The family is now led by the black back you see in this photograph, named Tabu. We spent 1 hour watching him show off splashing in the water and swinging from the trees. He was so full of energy and life. Mountain Gorillas are endangered with just over 1,000 in existence. When I first started trekking with gorillas five years ago, the number of mountain gorillas was around 675. Thanks to the Uganda Wildlife Authority the number has almost doubled.”