"I saw a group of children with a tethered yellow baboon," Jabruson said in a statement through Por El Planeta's 2015 photo contest. "It had been caught when its troop raided local crops – the result of habitat loss."
Once he snapped a few images, the children realized the monkey had piqued the photographer's interest. The photograph above was taken as the children offered the roped baboon for sale.
Jabruson was faced with a difficult decision: purchase the monkey and transport him to a rehabilitation facility or leave him in the hands of the children. He explains:
As a visitor I could not and would not pay for the baboon. To do this would only stimulate the capture of wild animals for tourists and visitors. I couldn't confiscate the animal from these people – this being completely outside of my jurisdiction. Besides, indigenous people believe very strongly that they have every right to be doing what they're doing and don't need a foreigner telling them what to do when it's their children that go hungry at night because a wild animal has just destroyed that season's crops.
The photographer chose to take the image "to highlight yet another human-wildlife conflict issue so common in Central Africa" and left the monkey behind.
After he left the village Jabruson followed up with local authorities who "considered the matter none of my business." He wrote, "as a consequence I was never was able to establish what eventually happened to the young baboon."
This monkey is only one of the innumerable commodified animals worldwide.
Both alive and dead, animals can be worth a pretty penny to humans. The illegal trade of wildlife and natural resources is estimated to be worth about $213 billion dollars, according to a 2014 United Nations and Interpol report.
Unfortunately, as this photo shows, it's the animals who pay the price.