Mina the Gentle
Mina the Gentle
Mina, a rather famous Sumatran orangutan, and her infant son in the Gunung Leuser National Park in the Northern region of Sumatra. Mina is famously described as being "aggressive" when in fact she is one of the most gentle beings I've ever come across. Any animal can be considered "aggressive" when people do not respect them, especially animals rescued from a life of abuse.
Thanks to irresponsible tour guides who attempt to lure wildlife closer with food in order to give their tourists a better look (and receive better tips), human-wildlife conflict remains a problem even inside national parks. Mina is no stranger to this behavior, and has been attacked by a machete ten times by tour guides who were "protecting" their tourists due to their carelessness and lack of respect after food offerings or other behavior ignited a physical encounter. Unsurprisingly, Mina - and other animals - end up being the only ones actually harmed. Stories of these events are sadly the ones that garner more attention, and always described in a way to make the animal look like the villain.
I watched Mina and her son for nearly an hour before a heavy rain began to blanket the jungle. Shortly after this image was taken, she and her son climbed up to a stronger perch, and I watched Mina create an umbrella out of large leaves to shield her child. Seeing them interact with one another was a testament to how peaceful and kind orangutan actually are.
In the wake of the destructive palm oil industry, the loss of their natural habitat continues, making poaching easier due to more and more access roads throughout the country, these creatures are critically endangered and face the threat of extinction. Some are shot, as well as other wildlife, just for "trespassing" on plantation property.
Printed on lustre finish silver-halide paper. The Lustre finish offers a beautiful sheen, allowing the colors and contrast to pop without the distracting glare of glossy finish prints.
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