Olingo trapped behind bars
Photographer: Juan de Dios Morales
"I went to the Yasuní Biosphere Reserve on a field trip, and seeing this olingo in a cage really struck me. It was one of those moments that really impacted my life: I understood then how cruel we human beings can be."
The Yasuní Biosphere Reserve contains more than half of all the mammal species in Ecuador, a third of all the amphibian, reptile and fresh-water fish species and 44% of bird species in the entire Amazon. These animals play an important role in the Yasuní's ecosystem, as pollinators, frugivores, seed dispersers, carnivores, herbivores and omnivores. Some species that inhabit the reserve - like the giant otter, the Amazonian manatee and the chorongo monkey - have become endangered due to commercial and subsistence hunting. The mammal pictured above is related to the coati, a member of the raccoon family.