By Aimee Braniff Cree

**EXCLUSIVE**

STUNNING PORTRAITS of great apes show the depth of their emotions – reminding us how closely related to humans they really are.

One shot shows a chimpanzee deep in thought looking back over his shoulder while another moment shows the powerful roar of a silverback gorilla.

An adorable capture shows a baby orangutan imitating the iconic The Thinker pose by the sculptor Rodin.

Njema a Western Lowland Gorilla.

These images were captured by by freelance photographer Gary Cox (52) from Bury, Greater Manchester (UK) at zoos across the UK including Blackpool Zoo, Chester Zoo and Welsh Mountain Zoo.

Gary explained how he used his Canon 100D and Canon 80D cameras to capture the mischievous primates.

“I am always ready for anything as animals are very unpredictable. My camera follows the gorillas whilst attempting to focus on the eyes in particular,” said Gary.

“I am waiting for great poses and expressions, which gorillas and other great apes are particularly good at.

A baby Western Chimpanzees.

“I always tend to know when I have captured something special and get a real thrill of achievement. From then I am almost eager to leave the zoo to process the final images.

Great Apes have proved to be very popular. I think it is the almost human expressions they make and you can see the intelligence behind their eyes.

“People feel close to them.

“It is the character of the apes that speaks volumes in these photos. You almost feel that you could have a conversation with them.

Bukavu the Western Lowland Gorilla.

“My favourite shot is probably the torso of the gorilla taken from the side. He looks like he is deep in thought so I call this shot ‘Contemplation’.

“All events have come together for this. The lighting, the clarity, the expression and the mood of the photo.”

ENDS