Roy Mangersnes - Skywalker
In November 2016 I was invited to the south China province of Yunnan, to cover the natural beauty of Dehong region as part of a eco tourism project. The goal was to capture the beauty of Dehong and to talk at a conference in Mangshi about the possibilities in eco tourism. One of the places I visited was the small town called Xiangbai, up in the mountains of Dehong. Here I spent three days with the local Lisu people. They have a beautiful boreal rainforest surrounding their village, but forces are pushing to get in and cut the forest down. What we wanted to do was to give them a long term alternative, giving them some ideas on how to make money from the forest and still keep the wildlife safe. During this stay I was lucky to shoot what I thought was the Eastern Hoolock Gibbon on a couple of swift encounters. It was only after I returned home that the news about a new Hoolock Gibbon species was announced. Based on the isolated distribution and the physical appearance of the Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon I was sure it was the animal I had just photographed. After consulting with my contacts in China I was certain. Based on the behavior of the Skywalker Hoolock Gibbon I can truly understand who it got the name, and with a estimated population of 200 animals I feel privileged to have documented them in the wild.
Location: Dehong, Yunnan, China
Tags: china, conservation, monkey