The Worldwide Photography Gala Awards (WPGA) held their 6th Edition of the Pollux Awards, which was comprised of 380 photographers from 47 countries submitting 2040 images for the competition. Winning 2nd place prize in the "Animals and Wildlife" category of the awards was my image of a female Bornean Orangutan with her baby. The jurors for this year's Award are the Photographer and Coordinator of WPGA, Julio Hardy; and Call 4 Artists' Publisher and Curator, David G. Hirsch.
The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) designates the Bornean Orangutan (Pongo pygmaeus) as "Endangered" with their population having declined approximately 50% in the last sixty years. Palm oil plantations and illegal harvesting of timber have been the primary threat to this species, which has been resulting in rapid destruction of their habitat. The Orangutan Care Center in Borneo that I visited, operated by Dr. Galdikas, has over 300 rescued orphans. Sadly, almost all of their mothers were slaughtered to prevent encroachment onto palm oil plantations and the babies were fortunate to have gotten away.
The WPGA is located in Regency House, Westminster Place, York Business Park, in York, United Kingdom. More information about the gala awards may be located by visiting their Web site at http://thegalaawards.net/