Award-Winning Photo Captures Circus Monkey's Pain
While some demonstrate the inspiring majesty of nature, and others show the weirdness and curiosity of unique animals, one award-winning wildlife photograph is full of terror and sadness.
Chu Yongzhi of the Zhejiang Daily Press Group in China captured an indelible moment last year behind-the-scenes at a circus. He nabbed a photo of a rhesus macaque, chained to a bike, cowering against a wall as an ominous trainers approached with a whip in hand.
The photo joins other 2015 wildlife photography award-winners, including one from National Geographic showing two pairs of hands comforting an orphaned rhino, and another about poaching, featuring a man carrying ivory tusks.
Still, the moment captured of a terrified monkey is unforgettable, and demonstrates the horrors hiding behind the sunny veil of circuses.
Around the world, many countries have instituted in national bans to varying degrees. Several European nations are leading the way, including Spain, Austria, Greece, Netherlands, while others have local bans or specific prohibitions on non-domestic species. The United States features partial and local bans in 22 different states; similarly, Canada has bans in various municipalities. Central and South American, meanwhile, are among the most progressive. Mexico, Paraguay, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica and others have national bans, as do other major cities such as Rio de Janiero and Sao Paolo.
The photograph was taken in Suzhou, eastern China, and all across the nation circuses and zoos remained wildly popular and common. Government restrictions have yet to be effective, as in 2011 animal circuses and abuses at zoos were banned.
Regardless, the photo shows clearly though that this isn’t a China problem: it’s a global issue that continues to treat animals as objects for the entertainment of humans.