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Friday, October 14, 2011

Just hanging around: Photographer captures adorable endangered animals at their cutest

By Daily Mail Reporter

Like a top celebrity fashion shoot for endangered animals, these exotic creatures are strutting their stuff to raise awareness for conservation.

Posing for top photographer Lennette Newell's 'Animals' series, 18 different species ranging from endangered tigers to vulnerable elephants give their cutest or fiercest look.

Working with animal trainers, private owners and educational animal facilities in her native California, Lennette hopes the collection will draw attention to ecology and promote learning.

Hang ten: Three baby Spider monkeys made for active subjects in Lennette Newell's series promoting endangered animal conservation

Ready for his close up: This Rhesus monkey certainly wasn't afraid of his star moment

Working on the project for four years, Lennette has relied on her bond with animals to coax humorous and uncharacteristic expressions out of her subjects.

'I wanted this to be a personal series from the start that drew in my contacts from the animal world in California and friends who work day in and day out with animals,' said Lennette, who operates in the worlds of commercial and fashion photography.

'We decided that it would be appropriate to draw attention to the plight of exotic animals such as tigers, lions, elephants and smaller creatures such as rhesus monkeys and black bears.

Showing their stripes: Ms Newell worked with the animals for hours to gain their trust and get them to feel comfortable

Transfixed: The tail of the lemur allowed for Ms Newell to get creative

'The public I feel takes their existence for granted, sees them on television on National Geographic everyday.

'I wanted everyone who views them to remember that if no direct action is taken some of these beautiful creatures will be gone in less than ten years.'

In addition to working with some of California's top animal trainers, Lennette was also privileged to photograph animals rescued from the illegal trade in exotic animals.

'The little rhesus monkey who is staring straight at the camera, he was rescued just the day before from the blackmarket,' said Lennette.

Threatened: Though the boa snake is considered dangerous by many, it is still threatened by possible extinction due to hunters and illegal animal trafficking

Fierce: The leopard is a well known endangered animal, but Ms Newell did the series to raise attention for those animals that are overlooked

'He was re-homed with a non-profit sanctuary in California, but he was so cute and so calm with me.

'Usually a primate like that would have been nervous, especially a rescued one.

'He was a joy and jumping all over me, interested in my camera and seemed to be so happy to be surrounded by people who were interested in his well being.'

With bashful and cute lions and stern and graceful and powerful lions making up some of her subjects, Lennette was also able to bring the miracle of birth to her set.

King of the jungle: Zuma, the 22 year old baboon pictured is the first domesticated baboon in the world

Come baring gifts: This Wallaby was far from the down under during the California photo shoot

'A small pastel ball python being hatched was something that was incredible to photograph,' said Lennette.

'I was with the incubator and prepared with my studio set up and the thing is they pop up so fast.

'They hatch like lightning and it was wonderful to capture that moment.'

Bright and colourful baboons like Zuma are an important subject for Lennette's 'Animal' series.

'He is 22 years old and likes very much to the star of the show,' said Lennette.

Colours and camouflage: This fire belly toad is very creatively named

One angry turtle: This African spurred tortoise is different than many that most Americans and Brits see in zoos

'As a male baboon he is very powerful and imposing.

'He is in fact one of only a handful of domesticated baboons in the world.'

After four years of work, Lennette has brought her series together for the first time.

'This is a roll call of animals that we need to protect,' said Lennette.

'If we are not careful they will be gone and that is going to be our fault, we have the ability to control ourselves.'

Bashful Mr Brown: Named after his colour, this bear was part of the series that took the artist four years to put together



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