A photo of mountain gorilla pup Pumungu (left) is one of just a handful of photos of the rare creature seen in North America.
The photo, taken by photographer Jeff Anderson, is from a powder mountain bike trip on the Mount Rushmore of Powder Mountain in New Hampshire.
Anderson has spent more than a decade traveling the U.S. and Europe photographing mountain gorillas, and he’s seen more than 10,000.
In the photo, Pumunu is on the top of the mountain, just above a rock ledge, and a powdery patch of powder.
“This is not a natural environment for a mountain gorilla, it is very cold and there is no water,” Anderson said in a press release.
“Pumunuu is an orphan that was abandoned by its mother when the mountain gorillans population in the area went down.
It’s the largest gorilla in the world and has never been seen alive on a mountain bike.”
Anderson has been shooting the mountain gorilla since it was a baby.
He said his goal was to capture the first photo of the animal in its natural habitat.
“I have been on the trails with these gorillas for about 10 years, and this is my first time on a snow bike,” Anderson told ABC News.
Anderson said he had to bring a camera with him because he could not find a snowmobile that would fit in his backpack.
The only snowboard he could find was the one he was given by the mountain rescue center, Anderson said.
Anderson, who has also been documenting the mountain climbing world, said the mountain was once a big, dense forest and was covered with tall, white trees.
The mountain was cut down and the forest cleared for agriculture.
Anderson had to ride a horse to the trailhead, but he said he got to the mountain’s summit on foot, using a rope to make his way through thick brush.
“The mountain is full of wildlife,” Anderson, whose website has more than 70,000 photos, said in the press release, adding that he has had to do a lot of research to find a good spot.
“I am so thankful to be a part of this unique opportunity to capture this beautiful animal.”