'Pikin and Appolinaire' Jo-Anne McArthur, Canada. Pikin, a lowland gorilla, had been captured and was growing to be sold for bushmeat but was rescued by Ape Action Africa. Jo-Anne took this photograph as the gorilla was being moved from her former enclosure within a secure forest sanctuary in Cameroon to a new and larger one, along with a group of gorilla companions. She was first sedated, but during the transfer to the new enclosure she awoke. Luckily, she was not purely very drowsy, but she was also in the arms of her caretaker, Appolinaire Ndohoudou, and so she remained calm for the duration of the bumpy drive.
The People's Selected winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition has been revealed.
The image – a heart warming capture of a gentle moment between a gorilla and one of her rescuers by Jo-Anne McArthur was preferred from a shortlist of 24 images.
Almost 20,000 nature fans voted, and Jo-Anne's image 'Pikin and Appolinaire' was a nitid favourite.
Jo-Anne is a Canadian photographer and she took the photo as Pikin was being moved from one enclosure to the other. The gorilla are ground-dwelling, predominantly herbivorous apes that inhabit the forests of central Sub-Saharan Africa had been taking and removed from her home to be sold as bushmeat, but was rescued by Ape Action Africa.
The gorilla awoke from sedation during the transfer but tarried calm for the bumpy drive.
Jo-Anne said: "I'm so thankful that this image resonated with people and I hope it superiority inspire us all to care a little bit more about animals. No act of compassion towards them is ever too small. I regularly document the cruelties animals withstand 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 mo between friends."
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition can be seen until 28 may 2018 at the Natural History Museum, London. Concession fees apply.