Thursday, October 29, 2009

Favorite Pic of the Day for October 29th

Beautiful shot by Mark Lynch.

Kudos to Cameroon's Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center

I am always a bit skeptical when I see photos that try to connect animal behavior to human behavior. Don't get me wrong, I love animals. They are one of my many passions and have had animals in my life since I was a kid. That being said, I have always had an issue with people who treat animals as babies or dress them to up to be something they were not naturally intended to be. I hate circus's for that reason.

The photo of 'Dorothy' funeral by photographer Monica Szczupider still managed to touch me. Not so much for the actual image, but because of the story behind it. Instead of going into detail I am going to copy the wonderful post by Jeremy Berlin from National Geographic's Pop Omnivore Blog posted on The Huffington Post.

I have always believed that how we treat our animals is directly connected to how we treat those most venerable in our society. Children, the ill, the aged, the homeless. It is sad that human beings as a whole are so fucking slow to learn and to change. Many of look back in horror at the way we once (and in some cases still do) treat women, treat minorities. How much these two groups of human beings had to fight to get the same rights as the rest of us. One day we will look back on how we treated animals, how we stalled the right to marry for all, how we let so many die before getting smart and passing health care. I know linking this shot of the chimp funeral to health care may be a giant leap, but it instantly struck me how cruel and stupid the human race can often be reading about the story of these animals so closely linked to humans.

The Story Behind National Geographic's Viral Chimp Funeral Photo
Guest post by Jeremy Berlin from National Geographic's Pop Omnivore Blog

The November issue of National Geographic Magazine features a moving photograph of chimpanzees watching the burial of one of their own. Since it was published, the picture and story have gone viral, turning up on websites and TV shows and in newspapers around the world. For readers who'd like to know more, here's what I learned as I interviewed the photographer, Monica Szczupider.

On September 23, 2008, Dorothy, a female chimpanzee in her late 40s, died of congestive heart failure. A maternal and beloved figure, Dorothy spent eight years at Cameroon's Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, which houses and rehabilitates chimps victimized by habitat loss and the illegal African bushmeat trade.

After a hunter killed her mother, Dorothy was sold as a "mascot" to an amusement park in Cameroon. For the next 25 years, she was tethered to the ground by a chain around her neck, taunted, teased, and taught to drink beer and smoke cigarettes for sport. In May 2000, Dorothy--obese from poor diet and lack of exercise--was rescued and relocated along with ten other primates. As her health improved, her deep kindness surfaced. She mothered an orphaned chimp named Bouboule and became a close friend to many others, including Jacky, the group's alpha male, and Nama, another amusement-park refugee.

Szczupider, who had been a volunteer at the center, told me: "Her presence, and loss, was palpable, and resonated throughout the group. The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy's chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return. Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration, but perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence. If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures."

The Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center was founded in 1999 by veterinarian Sheri Speede (pictured at right, cradling Dorothy's head; at left is center employee Assou Felix). Operated by IDA-Africa, an NGO, it's home to 62 chimps who reside in spacious, forested enclosures.

Szczupider had submitted the photograph to "Your Shot," a magazine feature that encourages readers to send in pictures they have taken. The best are published on the website and in the magazine.

Susan Welchman, the Geographic photo editor who sifts through reader-contributed shots looking for winners, was drawn to the candor of the image. "It caught my eye because you just don't see that much emotion--human emotion--with animals," she says. "It couldn't have been posed or faked; there's no way to make an animal look or act like that. It's just so real and true, so pure."

Pic Series Of The Day: Roland Szegi by Rick Day

The sizzling hot shoot of new model 24 year old Roland Szegi (Roly) who moved to New York from Hungary by Rick Day.

Roland Szegi

Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 164 lbs
Shoe size: 9.5
Hair color: Brown
Hair length: Short
Eye color: Brown
Skin color: Olive
Experience: Some Experience

Just Because: David Williams

Just Because one of my favorite blogs, Just Beautiful Men posted some new images of Aussie rugby player David Williams by the great Pedro Virgil and they had dreaming of David all over again. This Gods Of Football hunk has to be one of the hottest men on the planet!

DVD Caps: