‘It’s just an animal’
The winner has been announced for the 2010 Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year, an annual competition owned by Natural History Museum and BBC Wildlife Magazine. Mark Leong won the competition with his 6-piece photoessay, It’s just an animal.
I’ve included three of the winning images in this post so you may see how Leong has captured the ignorance and cruelty demanded by the multi-billion-dollar international trade in wildlife products. Head over to New Scientist to see all six.
I’ll end this post with an image of captive tigers that could have been taken during a tawdry circus act. The photograph, of tigers performing tricks for entertainment, was actually taken at a wildlife “conservation” park in China. You may be shocked to learn what is being done in the name of tiger conservation at the Xiongsen Bear and Tiger Garden in Guilin, Giangxi, China:
The park owns over 1300 tigers, and claims to help their conservation by keeping them in captivity. It also owns a tiger bone wine distillery, however, and has lobbied to lift bans on trade in such tiger products. In 2007 DNA tests on food from its restaurant revealed it was serving tiger meat. (from New Scientist)
What do you think — are animals “just animals”? How do Mark Leong’s photographs affect you?