A heartwarming image capturing of a gentle moment between a gorilla and a rescuer who saved her won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award after competing with nearly 50,000 images.
The shot made by the Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur emerged among a shortlist of 24, selected by the Natural History Museum. It shows Pikin, a lowland gorilla, in the arms of Appolinaire Ndohoudou, activist from Ape Action Africa, who had just rescued her from being sold for bushmeat.
Pikin was recently moved from her former enclosure within a safe forest sanctuary in Cameroon to a new and larger one, along with a group of gorilla companions. While in the arms of her caretaker, the gorilla remained surprisingly calm for the bumpy ride.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year organizers have also released the four finalists and 24 shortlisted images. Among them are photos of humpback whales swimming around the island of Vava’u, Tonga, a three-toed sloth hanging from a tree, a polar bear mother hugging her cubs emerging from their dens in the early spring, and a lilac-breasted roller bird riding a zebra.
Other photographs that made the shortlist include giraffes, zebras, owls, and sealife taken all over the world.