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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History
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Chimpanzee Hands

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Endangered Species Winner

Nature's Best Photography Windland Smith Rice International Awards

CHIMPANZEE HANDS

Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania

by Fritz Pölking

Greven, Germany

“Chimpanzees, our closest cousins in the animal world, are endangered due to deforestation and poaching. I wanted to photograph these creatures to bring awareness to their plight. When I saw the way the chimpanzee was holding its hands, with such a human quality, I could not help but think of how close we really are to our ancient ancestors.

“Being a wildlife photographer requires perseverance above all. One must master the technique, have creativity and a hunter’s instinct, and attain a working knowledge of biology in order to embody ideas and imagination in wildlife photography.

“My photographs are ‘thought pictures’. The photographer must illuminate not just the excitement of the natural world, but also its tragic aspects. To represent joy and sorrow with the same equanimity is to have achieved the highest level of artistic merit in this profession.”

Nikon F5; 300mm lens; settings unrecorded; Fujichrome Sensia 100.

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