SYDNEY, May 1 (Xinhua) — A nature-themed photo exhibition is ongoing at the Australian National Maritime Museum, which focuses on the beauty and fragility of the natural world and calls for concerted efforts to protect wildlife.
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition pools together over 100 awarded images taken by professional photographers and shutterbugs across the world, with categories spanning “Animal Portraits,” “Amphibians and Reptiles,” “Birds,” “Invertebrates,” “Photojournalism” and others.
In the “Photojournalism” section, a “Highly Commended” picture by Australian photographer Douglas Gimesy has a particular resonance with many locals.
The “Wombat Lockdown” features a familiar species to many Australians and awakens their shared memory about what they have undergone: the 2019-2020 Black Summer bushfires and the following COVID-19 pandemic.
The photo depicts a cozy scene of two baby bare-nosed wombats snoozing in a homemade pouch with a rescuer working beside them. But the photographer shared a complicated behind-the-scenes story.
Despite a narrow escape from the blaze season, the two young wombats became orphaned at 6 and 7 months old respectively, when their mothers were killed by vehicle strikes on the road.
The rescuer had to feed the orphans at her Melbourne apartment during the COVID-19 lockdown, instead of at her wombat orphanage which was damaged by bushfires.
In an interview on Sunday, Gimesy told Xinhua that he wanted to show a wildlife image that not only highlighted what wildlife went through, but a backstory that helped raise awareness of what some people had experienced.
Starting from April 1, the photo exhibition will run in Sydney until Oct. 31.