Haunting black-and-white images show animals at Bangladeshi zoo


Haunting black-and-white photos show sad-looking animals lying in cages and tied up in chains at Bangladeshi zoo

  • A monkey with its face to the ground and an elephant in chains are among the creatures depicted in Dhaka
  • Also seen are a kangaroo lying still on its side and a monkey reaching out of its cage to grasp a bottle of water 
  • Photographer Shafiqul Islam took the photo set – which he called ‘Prisoners’ – to highlight the animals’ ‘fear’

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These haunting black-and-white pictures show animals in captivity at a zoo in Bangladesh. 

A monkey with its face to the ground, an elephant in chains and a lonely rabbit on the hard ground with no greenery in sight are among the sad-looking creatures pictured at the attraction in Dhaka. 

Also among the images are a kangaroo lying still on its side, a monkey reaching out of its cage to grasp a water bottle and the hairy paw of an unknown animal reaching out helplessly from behind bars.  

Photographer Shafiqul Islam, 35, is a critic of zoo conditions and said he wanted to highlight the ‘fear, the hunger, the pain and the sadness’ experienced by animals. 

‘Visitors can’t see the actual situation inside the cages. It feels like animals are kept as prisoners without committing any crime,’ he said, describing his photo collection which he called ‘Prisoners’. 

Zoos can play an important role in protecting endangered species but animals should not be treated as ‘living showpieces’, he argued. 

Face to the ground: This monkey is lying with its its eyes almost closed and its chin against the floor with the bars of its cage reflected on the ground, at the zoo in Bangladesh

Face to the ground: This monkey is lying with its its eyes almost closed and its chin against the floor with the bars of its cage reflected on the ground, at the zoo in Bangladesh 

Not much to smile about: This female lion looks less than cheerful as it lies on the soft ground with its paws in front of it

Not much to smile about: This female lion looks less than cheerful as it lies on the soft ground with its paws in front of it 

Chained up: This elephant has a chain tied around one of its legs and fastened to the ground as it is kept captive in the zoo

Chained up: This elephant has a chain tied around one of its legs and fastened to the ground as it is kept captive in the zoo

Reaching out: This monkey is lifting its right hand out through the mesh of a cage in order to grasp a plastic water bottle

Reaching out: This monkey is lifting its right hand out through the mesh of a cage in order to grasp a plastic water bottle

Optical illusion: In this image it is unclear whether this terrifying-looking mammal has an exceptionally large hand or is holding an unusually shaped piece of wood. With its face like a mask, it is hard to say whether the animal is even real

Optical illusion: In this image it is unclear whether this terrifying-looking mammal has an exceptionally large hand or is holding an unusually shaped piece of wood. With its face like a mask, it is hard to say whether the animal is even real 

Keeping watch: A bird of prey stands alert on a ledge with its eyes looking straight ahead in the darkness

Keeping watch: A bird of prey stands alert on a ledge with its eyes looking straight ahead in the darkness

At the edge: One of the smaller inhabitants of the zoo, this rabbit is standing between a pile of rocks and an empty basin, with no greenery in sight

At the edge: One of the smaller inhabitants of the zoo, this rabbit is standing between a pile of rocks and an empty basin, with no greenery in sight 

Asleep: This kangaroo is lying on one side in the grass at the zoo where the Bangladeshi photographer took his pictures

Asleep: This kangaroo is lying on one side in the grass at the zoo where the Bangladeshi photographer took his pictures 

Poking its head out: This crocodile-like creature slants its mouth upwards and appears to be looking out from behind bars

Poking its head out: This crocodile-like creature slants its mouth upwards and appears to be looking out from behind bars

Contemplation: Only the eyes and head of this hippo are visible but it is clearly looking out through the bars of a cage

Contemplation: Only the eyes and head of this hippo are visible but it is clearly looking out through the bars of a cage

Standing tall: This flamingo casts a long shadow with two of its feathers lying on the ground below it at the Bangladeshi zoo

Standing tall: This flamingo casts a long shadow with two of its feathers lying on the ground below it at the Bangladeshi zoo

Helpless: This animal reaches out with its hairy fingers through the bars of a cage. The rest of its body is not seen

Helpless: This animal reaches out with its hairy fingers through the bars of a cage. The rest of its body is not seen  

Cry for help? Photographer Shafiqul Islam said he could detect a 'silent scream' in the photos of animals such as this one

Cry for help? Photographer Shafiqul Islam said he could detect a ‘silent scream’ in the photos of animals such as this one 

Something to hold on to: This ape is lying on the ground with one hand grasping what looks like a food wrapper

Something to hold on to: This ape is lying on the ground with one hand grasping what looks like a food wrapper 

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