Organisers of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have announced Jo-Anne McArthur as the winner of its People’s Choice Award.
Chosen from a shortlist of 24 images from a pool of more than 50,000 entries, McArthur’s winning image depicts a female gorilla and her rescuer as she was being transported to her new enclosure.
Pikin, the lowland gorilla, had been captured and removed from her habitat to be sold for bushmeat, but was rescued by Ape Action Africa. The gorilla awoke from sedation during the transfer but remained calm for the bumpy drive, resting drowsily in the arms of her human companion, Appolinaire.
“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,” McArthur says.
“No act of compassion towards them is ever too small. 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.”
McArthur’s image will be showcased in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London until it closes on 28 May.