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Prisoners: A Photo Story Showing the Pain of Animals Kept in a Zoo in Bangladesh

By Guest Contributor on August 8th 2019

For a lot of people, going to zoo is one of many ways to entertain themselves and learn a little about this animals and their habitats. However, the main purposes of a zoo is to protect the wildlife and let all of us understand the importance of nature.

There are many exotic animals that have the strong chance of extinction while remaining out in the wild. Thus, the zoo’s play the important role for saving these endangered animals. But in the Mirpur Zoo, the situation is quite ironic. The visitors go there with the expectation to see the fun and playful side of the animals, and sometimes the animals and the birds behave that way. But the visitors can’t see the actual situation they deal with inside the cages. The fear, the hunger, the pain and the sadness… it seems like the animals are kept as prisoners without committing any crime!

This is a photo story of such animals in the Mirpur Zoo in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The story is not about the carelessness or the poor job done by the zookeepers. It’s about the pain of the animals that are kept in insufficiently small area or cages, out of their natural habitat purely for our amusement. If people look in to their eyes and feel the emotion and expression deep enough, they might hear the silent scream as well.

As mentioned above, the photos are taken in Mirpur Zoo, Dhaka, Bangladesh. The animals are kept in various, (mostly small), cages that are not anything like their natural environment. Some are even tied with chains so they could barely move around. The aviary was also not big enough for the birds to fly inside it.

I captured these photos for almost 5 years and observed all of their emotions that touched my heart. The daylight changed the drama of the place time to time, so I waited for the appropriate light in the cages and also waited for the animal’s expressions or activities. Even sometimes I got so depressed about them and couldn’t continue to capture any more and got out of zoo. But somehow, I thought that the images can do some important role for the wellbeing of the animals. So I kept capturing.

The images were post processed using Adobe Lightroom. I’ve tried to express the situation as artistic dark portraits of the animals, so I’ve made these photo low-key black and white with faded look, to express the intensity of the moment and created the mood that goes with the animals emotions.

Guest Post by Shafiqul Islam

Shafiqul was born and lives in Dhaka Bangladesh, an introvert being who had a great time learning professional photography in Pathshala South Asian Media Institute. He tries to express his feelings and thoughts through his photographs. Shafique loves pets and enjoy photographing them, also have interest in still life photography, especially with toys.

*The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the author. You can find more of Islam’s work on his website, Facebook, and Instagram.

**Write Up & Images shared with permission from Shafiqul Islam. Do not share or edit these without direct written permission.
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Q&A Discussions

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  1. Robert Sheppard

    such a sad situation

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