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The Vulture and the Starving Little Sudanese Girl Photo – Photographer Kevin Carter ‘Left’ Her and He Died of Suicide 4 Months Later The True Story

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Read More – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_vulture_and_the_little_girl

this story is going viral that kevin carter abandoned the little girl and that is what killed him . we have dug on line various resources and come up with a new understanding . thank you . Abiel John Balogun Publisher Tweeterest Media  & Swordpress

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The vulture and the little girl, also known as “The Struggling Girl”, is a photograph by Kevin Carter which first appeared in The New York Times on 26 March 1993. It is a photograph of a frail famine-stricken boy, initially believed to be a girl, who had collapsed in the foreground with a vulture eyeing him from nearby. The child was reported to be attempting to reach a United Nations feeding center about a half mile away in Ayod, Sudan,(now South Sudan), in March 1993. The picture won the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography award in 1994. Carter died by suicide four months after winning the prize.

”The next day their light aircraft touched down in the tiny hamlet of Ayod with the cargo aircraft landing shortly afterwards. Marinovich wrote that the villagers were already waiting next to the runway to get the food as quickly as possible: “Mothers who had joined the throng waiting for food left their children on the sandy ground nearby.”[8] Silva and Carter separated to take pictures of both children and adults, both the living and dead, all victims of the catastrophic famine that had arisen through the war. Carter went several times to Silva to tell him about the shocking situation he had just photographed. Witnessing the famine affected him emotionally. Silva was searching for rebel soldiers who could take him to someone in authority and when he found some soldiers Carter joined him. The soldiers did not speak English, but one was interested in Carter’s watch. Carter gave him his cheap wristwatch as a gift.[9] The soldiers became their bodyguards and followed them for their protection.[10][11]

To stay a week with the rebels they needed the permission of a rebel commander. Their plane was due to depart in an hour and without the permission to stay they would be forced to fly out. Again they separated and Silva went to the clinic complex to ask for the rebel commander and he was told the commander was in Kongor, South Sudan. This was for Silva good news as, “their little UN plane was heading there next”. He left the clinic and went back to the runway, taking on his way pictures of children and people. He came across a child lying on his face in the hot sun – he took a picture.[12]

Carter saw Silva on the runway and told him, “You won’t believe what I’ve just shot! … I was shooting this kid on her knees, and then changed my angle, and suddenly there was this vulture right behind her! … And I just kept shooting – shot lots of film![12] Silva asked him where he shot the picture and was looking around to take a photo as well. Carter pointed to a place 50 m (160 ft) away. Then Carter told him that he had chased the vulture away. He told Silva he was shocked by the situation he had just photographed, saying, “I see all this, and all I can think of is Megan”, his young daughter. A few minutes later they left Ayod for Kongor.[13]

In 2011, the child’s father revealed the child was actually a boy, Kong Nyong, and had been taken care of by the UN food aid station. Nyong had died four years prior, c. 2007, of “fevers”, according to his family.[14]

Publication and public reaction

In March 1993, The New York Times was seeking an image to illustrate a story by Donatella Lorch about the Sudan. Nancy Buirski, the newspaper’s picture editor on the foreign desk, called Marinovich, who told her about “an image of a vulture stalking a starving child who had collapsed in the sand.” Carter’s photo was published in the March 26, 1993 edition.[15] The caption read: “A little girl, weakened from hunger, collapsed recently along the trail to a feeding center in Ayod. Nearby, a vulture waited.”.[2]

This first publication in The New York Times “caused a sensation”, Marinovich wrote, adding, “It was being used in posters for raising funds for aid organization. Papers and magazines around the world had published it, and the immediate public reaction was to send money to any humanitarian organization that had an operation in Sudan.”[16]

Special editorial

Due to the public reaction and questions about the girl’s condition, The New York Times published a special editorial in its 30 March 1993 edition, in which the editor said, in part, “A picture last Friday with an article about the Sudan showed a little Sudanese girl who had collapsed from hunger on the trail to a feeding center in Ayod. A vulture lurked behind her. Many readers have asked about the fate of the girl


Four months after being awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Feature Photography, Carter died of suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning on July 27, 1994, at age 33.[21][22] Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, South Africa, wrote of Carter, “And we know a little about the cost of being traumatized that drove some to suicide, that, yes, these people were human beings operating under the most demanding of conditions

How the Vulture and the Little Girl Ultimately led to the Death of Kevin Carter

When this photograph capturing the suffering of the Sudanese famine was published in the New York Times on March 26, 1993, the reader reaction was intense and not all positive. Some people said that Kevin Carter, the photojournalist who took this photo, was inhumane, that he should have dropped his camera to run to the little girl’s aid. The controversy only grew when, a few months later, he won the Pulitzer Prize for the photo. By the end of July, 1994, he was dead.

Emotional detachment allowed Carter and other photojournalists to witness countless tragedies and continue the job. The world’s intense reactions to the vulture photo appeared to be punishment for this necessary trait. Later, it became painfully clear that he hadn’t been detached at all. He had been deeply, fatally affected by the horrors he had witnessed.

Carter grew up in South Africa during apartheid. He became a photojournalist because he felt he needed to document the sickening treatment not only of blacks by whites, but between black ethnic groups as well, like those between Xhosas and Zulus.

Joining ranks with only a few other photojournalists, Carter would step right into the action to get the best shot. A South African newspaper nicknamed the group the Bang-Bang Club. At that time, photographers used the term “bang-bang” to refer to the act of going out to the South African townships to cover the extreme violence happening there.

In a few short years, he saw countless murders from beatings, stabbings, gunshots, and necklacing, a barbaric practice in which a tire filled with oil is placed around the victim’s neck and lit on fire.


Carter took a special assignment in Sudan, where he shot the famous vulture photo. He spent a few days touring villages full of starving people. All the while, he was surrounded by armed Sudanese soldiers who were there to keep him from interfering. The photos below are evidence that even if he decided to help the little girl, the soldiers wouldn’t have allowed it. The first was shot by Carter himself.

After receiving a number of phone calls and letters from readers who wanted to know what happened to the little girl, the New York Times took a rare step and published an editor’s note describing what they knew of the situation. “The photographer reports that she recovered enough to resume her trek after the vulture was chased away. It is not known whether she reached the [feeding] center.”

other horrific photos of the war in ‘sudan’

Most of us have trouble comprehending how Carter and the rest of the Bang-Bang Club did this kind of work day after day. But it turns out that it took its toll on them, and in Carter’s case, fatally so. Carter’s daily ritual included cocaine and other drug use, which would help him cope with his occupation’s horrors. He often confided in his friend Judith Matloff, a war correspondent. She said he would “talk about the guilt of the people he couldn’t save because he photographed them as they were being killed.” It was beginning to trigger a spiral into depression. Another friend, Reedwaan Vally, says, “You could see it happening. You could see Kevin sink into a dark fugue.”

And then his best friend and fellow Bang-Bang Club member, Ken Oosterbroek, was shot and killed while on location. Carter felt it should have been him, but he wasn’t there with the group that day because he was being interviewed about winning the Pulitzer. That same month, Nelson Mandela became president of South Africa.

Carter had focused his life on exposing the evils of apartheid and now — in a way — it was over. He didn’t know what to do with his life. On top of that, he felt a need to live up to the Pulitzer he’d won. Soon after, in the fog of his depression, he made a terrible mistake. On assignment for Time magazine, he traveled to Mozambique. On the return flight, he left all his film–about 16 rolls he had shot there–on the plane. It was never recovered. For Carter, this was the last straw. Less than a week later, he was dead. He drove to a park, ran a hose from the exhaust pipe into his car, and died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Yes, winning the Pulitzer Prize put pressure on him, but it didn’t lead directly to his death. Rather, it only added to the pile of stress and guilt he had accumulated while documenting some of the most gruesome corners of the world. But thanks to his brain-searingly memorable photo, the famine in Sudan became internationally known. Carter left an indelible mark on the planet’s consciousness.


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