MBELI BAI, REPUBLIC OF CONGO (July 19, 2017) – Researchers from WCS’s Congo Program released touching footage of two sibling western lowland gorillas in a tender embrace.  The 11-second video was taken from an observation platform in Mbeli Bai, a forest clearing in the Republic of Congo’s Nouabale Ndoki National Park, which WCS helps manage. The WCS researchers observing the two half siblings, named Avatar and Jingles, said it was part of a play session. The researchers say that gorillas are quite physical in their play behavior; they wrestle, hit, bite, but also touch, sniff, kiss and hug. Hugging, like grooming, could also be a form of confirming social bonds. WCS works in this protected area to safeguard gorillas, forest elephants, and other wildlife from poaching.