According to the People’s Choice Award, in 2018, the winner for Wildlife Photographer of the Year is this stunning shot of a lowland gorilla in a man’s arms. After the gorilla was saved from hunters planning to sell her for bushmeat, photographer Jo-Anne McArthur caught the touching portrait.
Pikin, the gorilla, was rescued and anesthetized while being relocated from one cage to another by the organization Ape Action Africa. Pikin awoke in the car after the medications lost their effect.
Appolinaire Ndohoudou, who has devoted his life to preserving gorillas in Cameroon, has held her in arms, and she seems very peaceful. The truth is that he has been familiar with many of the animals their entire lives.
“I’m so thankful that this image resonated with people, and I hope it might inspire us all to care a little bit more about animals. No act of compassion towards them is ever too small,” McArthur stated. “I regularly document the cruelties animals endure at our hands, but sometimes I bear witness to stories of rescue, hope, and redemption. Such is the case with the story of Pikin and Appolinaire, a beautiful moment between friends.”
The People’s Choice Award went to McArthur’s photo, beating out 24 other nominees. The annual photography competition is held at the Natural History Museum in London, and authorities there were wowed by the photo.
Director Sir Michael Dixon remarked, “Jo-Anne’s inspirational image is a symbol of humanity’s power to protect the world’s most vulnerable species and shape a more sustainable future for life on our planet,” He further added, “Photographs like Jo-Anne’s are a reminder that we can make a difference, and we all have a part to play in addressing our impact on the natural world.”