By Dian Hasan | October 12, 2009
It’s been said that a good photograph takes an instant out of time, and alters life by holding it still. It’s also said that the best still images, are moving. They move you beyond time and space, move you emotionally, spiritually and intellectually. They move you because they tell an entire story, in a single frame. Such is the power of photography.
To honor World Day of Animals that falls on October 4th each year, we’ll feature some of our fellow earth-inhabitants that deserve a second look and attention to their plight. Here’s are the Big Cats.
Amur tigers Sasha (L) and Yuri, recently transferred from Edinburgh Zoo, fight over food in their new enclosure at The Highland Wildlife Park in Kingussie, near Aviemore in Scotland on October 6, 2008. With only 500 Amur tigers remaining in the wild around the Amur river valley in the far east of Russia, it is hoped that the pair will continue to contribute to the worldwide breeding programme from their new home in the Scottish Highlands. Photo: REUTERS/David Moir
Lions rest their muzzles in the bars of their enclosure in a zoo near Amman, Jordan September 25, 2008. Photo: REUTERS/Ali Jarekji
A black Persian cat stares at a judge, during an international cat beauty contest, in Bucharest, Romania on Saturday, Sept. 27, 2008. Photo: AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
The Capron Park Zoo in Attleboro, Massachusetts recently acquired a rare male white lion named Ramses, seen here basking in the afternoon sunshine. He is housed with two female lionesses who are sisters and who both carry the gene for the white color form. The zoo hopes to breed the male to the females. Photo: Michele McDonald/Globe Staff
A lion cub named Mandisa (left), watches her brother Masamba chew on a limb as the two play at the NEW Zoo on Thursday. Oct. 9, 2008 in Suamico, Wisconsin. The pair were born on July 19, 2008. Photo: AP Photo/Green Bay Press-Gazette, Corey Wilson
This undated handout picture taken in India shows a Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus) watching intently. Photo: Mathieu Ourioux/AFP/Getty Images
Moyo, a 3-year-old male cheetah from South Africa, chases a lure during the Cheetah Dash event at the Animal Ark in Reno, Nevada on Sunday, Sept. 21, 2008. Animal Ark runs the cheetahs regularly to keep them in good health. Photo: AP Photo/Nevada Appeal, Kevin Clifford
Trying to spot a leopard, when he doesn’t want to be seen, is like looking for one particular needle in a family reunion of porcupines. He is a master of stealth, guile and animal cunning, and doesn’t just merge into the background, but becomes the tapestry itself. While primarily a nocturnal hunter, this explains why he’s more successful at daytime hunting than his bigger cousin, the tiger. He can blend in with even the scantiest of scrub, and remain unnoticed till it’s time to pounce on that fat, juicy deer. Photo: Giri Cavale
Lion Cubs at a savanna in the Masai Mara National Reserve. Photo: Ker& Downey Safari Co.
A brief background on how World Day of Animals came about: the roots go back to Florence, Italy in 1931 at a convention of ecologists. On this day, animal life in all its forms is celebrated, and special events are planned on locations all over the globe. October 4th was originally chosen as World Animal Day because it is the feast day of Francis of Assisi, a nature lover and patron saint of animals and the environment. Numerous churches throughout the world observe the Sunday closest to 4 October with a Blessing for the Animals.
World Animal Day has since expanded its focus from its original intent, which was to bring attention to endangered or threatened species. The day is now set aside as a time to reflect on all of the animals we share this world with, and our involvement with them – and to spur action to commemorate that respectful relationship.
Half the world’s mammals are declining in population and more than a third are probably threatened with extinction, according to an update of of the Red List (an inventory of biodiversity issued by the IUCN (International for Conservation of Nature).
Inspiration: The Boston Globe