The ‘Monkey Selfie’ Effect: BBC Photographer Pledges Percentage of Profits to Help Animals

For Immediate Release:

19 September 2017


Jennifer White +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 222; [email protected]


Naruto the Macaque’s Rights Case Creates Potential Bonanza for Wildlife in Peril

London – Renowned wildlife photographer Andy Parkinson has made a decision that he hopes will inspire others in his profession around the globe to do the same: he’ll donate a percentage of his profits to charities that work to preserve animals’ disappearing habitats. In his words, “We need to start giving back more to our subjects.”

Parkinson made the pledge to PETA after seeing the outcome of the landmark “monkey selfie” lawsuit, in which PETA US sought to establish the macaque Naruto as the copyright owner of the internationally famous “monkey selfie” photographs that he undeniably took with photographer David Slater’s camera in 2011. As part of the settlement, Slater agreed to donate 25 per cent of any future gross revenue that he derives from using or selling any of the “monkey selfies” to registered charities dedicated to protecting the welfare or habitat of Naruto and other crested macaques in Indonesia.

“Andy Parkinson’s stunning photographs showcase animals’ beauty, and his pledge will help preserve their homes,” says PETA Director of International Programmes Mimi Bekhechi. “PETA hopes many other wildlife photographers will follow his lead and share their takings with the subjects of their work.”

Parkinson also expresses frustration that so many wildlife photographers appear to care only about the lives of wild animals, giving little thought to the suffering of farmed animals who are bred unnecessarily for food.

“We need to stop this absurd hypocrisy and start seeing the beauty and value in all lives,” he says. “It makes no sense to spend our days looking directly into the eyes of our wild cousins, transfixed and astonished by their beauty, and then go home and fry up some bacon. We can’t be environmental champions and eat meat, we can’t claim to be animal lovers and then be complicit in the needless violence inflicted upon them. At all times, we must act with honour, compassion, and decency, and I hope this pledge will inspire my colleagues to join me in giving back to the animals. It is, after all, they that we have to thank for our careers, and we need to extend our circle of compassion to all those in the animal kingdom.”

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