Ian Bickerstaff. A wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Cameroon, home to several hundred primates ripped from the wild by illegal hunting activities.
The central subject of ‘Sanctuary’ is a wildlife rescue and rehabilitation centre in Cameroon, that provides a safe home in captivity for several hundred primates ripped from the wild by illegal hunting activities. More broadly, this series captures the relationships between the sanctuary and the wild. It explores the relationships between primates and their human caregivers, the sanctuary and the local people, people and wildlife, and the relationship between Cameroon and its places of significant natural heritage.
Humankind’s relationship with wildlife has reached a place of dangerous imbalance of exploitation, intolerance, and apathy that has brought us to the midst of a mass extinction event. Wildlife habitats are being destroyed at an alarming rate, once-protected places are being opened up to destructive for-profit activities and hunting threatens to remove dozens of charismatic species from the wild forever. News of environmental doom and gloom is easy to come by, and so it is beneficial to occasionally reflect on the good that people that do to care for individual animals impacted by human activities.
I have been visiting and documenting the main subject of this series for more than 10 years. Over the past two years, I have been able to dedicate more time to photography. I want to share the story of the human and non-human primates who have relied on the sanctuary for their survival for some time.
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