House of horrors: inside the US wildlife repository – photo essay
If the US had a national house of horrors, it would probably be the federal government compound that lies on the fringes of Denver, Colorado, incongruously set within a wildlife reserve where bison languorously dawdle against a backdrop of the snow-crowned Rockies.
The National Wildlife Property Repository, operated by the US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), is a warehouse of the macabre. It’s a Noah’s ark of protected deceased biodiversity that smugglers attempted to get into the US before being caught by FWS staff at airports and ports.
Shelves bow under the weight of elephant tusks, leopard cubs in shocked repose, crocodile skin boots and quack medicines made from mushed up parts of turtles and bears…
There are about 1.5m items at the repository, with approximately 200 specimens arriving each week for storage and education purposes…
Captive by Jo-Anne McArthur: plight of animals in captivity – in pictures
In recent years, the role of zoos and aquaria as centres for conservation, education, and entertainment has been placed under scrutiny. From the controversy surrounding the confinement of orcas at SeaWorld to the killing of Harambe the gorilla at the Cincinnati Zoo, questions have been asked about the place, if any, of zoos and aquaria in a world where so many animals need resources and protection in the wild and many other means of learning about the natural world exist.
For more than a decade, Canadian photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur has turned her forensic and sympathetic camera on those animals whom we ve placed in zoos and we animals who look at them. As with her first book, We Animals (Lantern, 2013), McArthur s aim is to invite us to reflect on how we observe or ignore one another through the bars, across the moat, or on either side of the glass. Captive is a book that will challenge our preconceptions about zoos and aquaria, animal welfare, and just what or who it is we think we see when we face the animal.