Click For Photo: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2018/02/12/21/4924BDE800000578-0-image-a-85_1518470763430.jpg
This heart-warming image of a gentle moment between a gorilla and a rescuers who saved her from being slaughtered is the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award beating nearly 50,000 images to win the much respected prize.
Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur's shot, called 'Pikin and Appolinaire' emerged as the favourite.
Jo-Anne - Image - Shortlist - Natural - History
Jo-Anne's image was chosen from a shortlist of 24, selected by the Natural History Museum from almost 50,000 entries submitted for the 2017 competition.
It shows Pikin, a lowland gorilla, in the arms of Appolinaire Ndohoudou, who had just rescued her from being sold for bushmeat.
Appolinaire - Ape - Action - Africa - Pikin
Appolinaire works for Ape Action Africa. He was moving Pikin from her former enclosure within a safe 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.
As she was in the arms of her caretaker, she remained calm for the bumpy ride.
Jo-Anne - 'I - Image - People - Bit
Jo-Anne said: 'I'm so thankful that this image resonated with people and I hope it might 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 endure 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 moment between friends.'
Pikin - Appolinaire - Ndohoudouwas - Home - Chad
Like Pikin, Appolinaire Ndohoudouwas forced from his home,having fled Chad because of a civil war.
As he rebuilthis lifein Cameroon, his work in protecting wild animals revived his appreciation for the natural world.
Picture - Wildlife - Photographer - Year - Exhibition
The picture will be showcased in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London until it closes on 28 May.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is...
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