11 animal portraits that will inspire you to get back to nature.



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Brad Wilson takes fine art portraits of wild animals.

Isolated in front of a dark backdrop and illuminated with soft lights, Wilson’s stunning portraits are deceptively simple, but deeply striking.

His series, “Affinity” explores humans’ relationship (or lack thereof) with the natural world.

All photos by Brad Wilson, used with permission.

Wanna get closer to nature? Start with 11 of Wilson’s jaw-dropping photos and wild facts about these majestic animals.

1. You’ll never be short on conversation, as baboons use at least 10 different sounds to communicate with their troops.

This baboon enjoys climbing, running, and talking about your favorite competition-based reality shows.

2. Mountain lions, pumas, and cougars are all the same species and go by many different names.

Not only does this mountain lion have kind eyes, it knows the entire Keith Sweat catalog.

One of those names? Ghost cat. Don’t be surprised if she stops answering your texts.

3. Did you know mandrills sleep in a different tree each evening?

This mandrill is working on contouring. Does it show?

4. The palm cockatoo’s beak is uniquely shaped and quite large, making them especially adept at cracking big nuts … if you’re into that kind of thing.

This black palm cockatoo just got out of a long relationship and is just looking for a good time.

5. The golden tiger is the same species as a Bengal tiger, but with rare coloring.

This golden tiger is here to dance and eat boar, and he’s all out of boar.

Their fur is often thicker and softer than other tigers. Take that, other tigers.

6. Chimpanzees usually travel on all fours but they can walk up to a mile on two legs.

This chimpanzee doesn’t mind that you still can’t pronounce quinoa right on the first try.

No word on whether they will walk 500 more to fall down at your door.

7. Contrary to every cartoon, elephants do not like peanuts.

This elephant has big ears, and a bigger heart.

They do not eat them in the wild and keepers do not feed them to elephants in captivity. If you need to treat an elephant, stick to flowers … or pumpkins.

8. Barn owls swallow their food whole and cough up the fur and bones.

Who’s that with the soft feathers and great anecdotes for first dates? It’s this barn owl.

Not much else to say about that.

9. This long-legged serval can jump up to 10 feet in the air.

This serval may look small, but this tiny cat has nine lives, and he’s using every one to hang out with you.

The serval is native to more than 35 African countries and is found mostly in savannas.

10. Lorikeet tongues end in a kind of hairy brush, which helps them get nectar from deep inside flowers.

This brightly colored rainbow lorikeet did not come to play with you, parrots. She came to slay.

(At least that’s what they’re telling ornithologists.)

11. This white-lipped tree viper is most comfortable in trees, but some people are bold enough to try to keep them as pets.

This white-lipped tree viper might seem dangerous — and she is. Especially if you talk shit about her friends.

Beware, however, as the wise prophets Bell Biv Devoe once said: That girl is poiiiiiiiison. Never trust a forked tongue and a smile.

Wilson’s remarkable photos are a beautiful reminder to appreciate the natural world and the animals we share the planet with.

Wilson hopes that his images “remind us, despite the pronounced feeling of isolation that too often characterizes our contemporary existence, that we are not alone, we are not separate — we are part of a beautifully rich and interconnected diversity of life.”

We live on this planet with some pretty amazing creatures. It’s our responsibility to protect and celebrate them.

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