Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition shows a ‘planet under pressure’ | World News

Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition shows a ‘planet under pressure’ | World News

A gecko wrestling for its life, a slick of dying herrings and a lioness spattered with blood are just some of the pictures submitted to 2021’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

The Natural History Museum, which hosts the contest, has released a selection of this year’s highly commended images that show a “planet under pressure”.

UK entrant Lara Jackson’s portrait, entitled Raw Moment, is among the photos that have been chosen.

Raw moment by Lara Jackson, showing bright red blood dripping from a lion's muzzle in Tanzania's Serengeti National Park, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Animal Portraits Award
Image:
Raw Moment by Lara Jackson, showing bright red blood dripping from a lion’s muzzle in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park

It depicts a lioness staring down the camera after feasting on a wildebeest at Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park.

An image of a golden tree snake coiled around a tokay gecko in a park in Bangkok, taken by Wei Fu, has also been submitted.

The gripping end by Wei Fu, showing a red-spotted tokay gecko clutched in the coils of a golden tree snake in Bangkok, Thailand, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles Award
Image:
The Gripping End by Wei Fu, showing a red-spotted tokay gecko clutched in the coils of a golden tree snake in Bangkok, Thailand

Audun Rikardsen’s photo of herring covering the surface of the sea off the coast of Norway as a result of overfishing has made it into the highly commended category as well.

A piece showing glowing ghost fungus on a dead tree in the rain forest in Queensland, Australia, by Juergen Freund made it into the group too.

Mushroom magic by Juergen Freund, showing ghost fungus, on a dead tree in the rainforest in Queensland, Australia, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Plants and Fungi Award
Image:
Mushroom Magic by Juergen Freund, showing ghost fungus, on a dead tree in the rainforest in Queensland, Australia

The shortlist also included Sergio Marijuan’s young Iberian lynx framed in the doorway of an abandoned hayloft, Jack Zhi’s image of a white-tailed kite reaching to grab a live mouse from its father and Jaime Culebras’ photo showing a tarantula hawk wasp dragging a tarantula up the side of a fridge.

Lynx on the threshold by Sergio Marijuán, showing a young Iberian lynx pausing in the doorway of the abandoned hayloft where it was raised, on a farm in eastern Sierra Morena, Spain, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Urban Wildlife Award
Image:
Lynx on the Threshold by Sergio Marijuán, showing a young Iberian lynx pausing in the doorway of the abandoned hayloft

This year’s competition attracted more than 50,000 entries from photographers in 95 countries.

An image of an orphaned grey-headed fox sucking on a dummy and being cradled by the hand of a carer, taken by Douglas Gimesy, was also highly commended, along with Laurent Ballesta’s photo of narwhal shrimp.

Chairwoman of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, said the “thought-provoking images” remind people to enjoy nature “in these dark times”.

Natural magnetism by Jaime Culebras, showing a tarantula hawk wasp dragging a tarantula up the side of a fridge, in Quito, Ecuador, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Urban Wildlife Award
Image:
Natural Magnetism by Jaime Culebras, showing a tarantula hawk wasp dragging a tarantula up the side of a fridge, in Quito, Ecuador

“It was the overall quality of entries that took us by surprise. With most travel plans cancelled over the past year, photographers seem to have spent extra time considering what gems to submit”, she said.

“The result is a collection of both thought-provoking images and ones that, in these dark times, remind us of the joy and wonder to be had from nature.”

A caring hand by Douglas Gimesy, showing an orphaned grey-headed flying-fox pup on a 'mumma roll', sucking on a dummy and cradled in the hand of wildlife carer Bev in Melbourne, Australia, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Photojournalism Award
Image:
A Caring Hand by Douglas Gimesy, showing an orphaned grey-headed flying-fox pup on a ‘mumma roll’, sucking on a dummy and cradled in the hand of wildlife carer

Dr Doug Gurr, director of the Natural History Museum, added: “These extraordinary images showcase the rich diversity of life on Earth and spark curiosity and wonder.

“This year’s inspiring exhibition will move and empower audiences to advocate for the natural world.”

Deep feelers by Laurent Ballesta, showing narwhal shrimps in deep water off the French Mediterranean coast, among cold-water black coral, which was highly commended in Wildlife Photographer of the Year Underwater Award
Image:
Deep Feelers by Laurent Ballesta, showing narwhal shrimps in deep water off the French Mediterranean coast

The overall winners, including the Grand Title winner, will be announced on 12 October via a virtual awards ceremony livestream.

The exhibition of the 100 award-winning images will open at the Natural History Museum in London on 15 October before beginning its international tour.



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