A blood-splattered lioness, a gecko struggling for its life in the grip of a snake, and a breath of dead and dying herring are among the photographs submitted for a prestigious exhibition.
The Natural History Museum has published a selection of the critically acclaimed images for its Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition that show a “Planet Under Pressure”.
Among the pictures is a portrait of British contestant Lara Jackson, titled Raw Moment, which shows a lioness staring into the camera after eating a wildebeest in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.
Wei Fu’s picture of a golden tree snake wrapped around a tokay gecko in a park near his home in Bangkok, Thailand, and Audun Rikardsen’s picture of herrings covering the sea surface off the Norwegian coast as a result of overfishing, also became a highly recommended category.
Also included is Sergio Marijuan’s young Iberian lynx framed in the door of an abandoned hayloft. The species was once critically endangered, but thanks to continued conservation efforts, their numbers are now increasing.
This year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition attracted more than 50,000 submissions from photographers in 95 countries.
Jury Chairperson Roz Kidman Cox said the “thought-provoking images” remind us to enjoy the outdoors “in these dark ages”.
She said, “It was the overall quality of the submissions that surprised us. With most travel plans canceled last year, it seems that photographers spent extra time thinking about which gems to submit.
“The result is a collection of images that stimulate thought and remind us of the joy and wonder of nature in these dark times.”
Dr. Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, added: “These extraordinary images show the rich diversity of life on earth and arouse curiosity and amazement.
“The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition tells the story of a planet under pressure, highlighting the pressing challenges we face and the collective action we must take. This year’s inspiring exhibition will move the public and empower them to stand up for nature. “
The overall winners, including the Grand Title winner, will be announced on Tuesday, October 12th, via a virtual livestream of the awards ceremony. The exhibition of the 100 winning paintings opens on Friday October 15 at the Natural History Museum in London before embarking on its international tour.
The free event will again be hosted by BBC presenters and wildlife experts Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin and will include photographers, museum scholars and special guests.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London.
You can find more stories from where you live at Near you.