Research | Queen’s University Canada

[Photo of a researcher and a capuchin monkey making eye contact]
Returning the Gaze
Siobhan Speiran
This was taken by Rubén Vargas at the wildlife sanctuary Proyecto Asis in Costa Rica, who captures the most beautiful images of the resident animals. I am standing in front of the capuchin enclosure observing the behaviours of Lulo, Lucy, Soplita, Pablita, and Cappuccino, while guided tours are taking place nearby. It is illegal to own wild animals in Costa Rica; these capuchins have been rescued from their past lives as companion animals or entertainers. While unable to be reintroduced to the wild, they receive life-long care and advocacy in the sanctuary community. My research looks at the intersections of animal welfare and conservation in Costa Rican sanctuaries, which are popular sites of sustainable, captive wildlife tourism. Here, the monkey returns my gaze in this photo, blurring the distinction between researcher and subject; I study him while he studies me.
Location of photograph:
Proyecto Asis, Costa Rica
PhD Student, School of Environmental Studies
Submission Year: