Business Insider writes about the finalists of the prestigious competition. The Wildlife Photography of the Year competition received over 49,000 entries from photographers in 25 countries. Judging by the composition of the finalists, this year, as before, the jury pays the closest attention to the works that emphasize the fragility of wildlife on our planet. Here are some of the winning entries.
A young fox holds a rat in its teeth as its brother tries to take prey, North London, England. Photo: Matthew Maran / Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
A young fox with a dead rat in its teeth tries to hold on to its prey, which is also claimed by its brother. According to the photographer, another fox took part in the scene. Probably, the cubs either received a rat from their parents, or found it already dead. In the abandoned areas of North London, foxes feed on whatever they have to, so rats and voles are great luck for them.
A ginger squirrel runs away from a pair of Owl owls in Hokkaido forest, Japan. Makoto Ando / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Photographer Makoto Ando spent three hours observing this owl pair in a frozen forest on Hokkaido Island. Then came the red squirrel, a favorite treat for owls. The curious squirrel looked into the owl's hole, and then ran away. “I thought the owls would immediately grab it, but they just watched the squirrel”, - says the photographer.
Dead seabirds accidentally caught by Japanese tuna boats off the coast of South Africa in 2017. Thomas P Peschak / Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
The nets strewn with thousands of baited hooks, which are left in the sea by fishing boats, can stretch for 50 kilometers. Seabirds trying to hunt fish that have swallowed the bait are often also hooked and drowned. This photo shows such accidental victims of anglers - albatrosses and petrels, killed off the coast of South Africa. Fishing methods have changed in recent years and weighted hooks are more commonly used, which sink better. Thanks to this, the number of birds killed is reduced. But still there are a lot of victims: every year around the world this way more than 300,000 seabirds are killed.
A large male Ganges gavial carries numerous offspring on his back, Chambal National Sanctuary in Uttar Pradesh, India. Photo: Dhiritiman Mukherjee / Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Gangetic gharials - crocodiles that feed on fish - are endangered. There were once more than 20,000 ghawials in Southeast Asia, but fierce hunting for skins and eggs, and drying up of rivers due to the construction of dams and irrigation canals, have now left an estimated 650 ghawials. In the photo one of them, a caring father under 4 meters tall, carrying his offspring on his back.
A pair of puffins on the Farne Islands near Northumberland, UK. Evie Easterbrook / Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Populations of these beautiful birds around the world are declining because warmer waters and more frequent storms in the Atlantic make it harder for them to find their prey - the gerbil fish. Puffins are monogamous: the same pair usually mates for life, returning to the same location each season and sharing the responsibilities of hatching and raising children. When it comes time to breed, the puffin plumage changes from dull gray to bright birds, as in this photo.
A hippopotamus in the Mara River in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Photo: Jose Fragoso / Wildlife Photographer of the Year.
Not all animals want to be colorful. This African hippopotamus uses its monochrome coloring to camouflage itself. The photographer waited in his car for a long time until the hippo blinked and betrayed its presence in the mud.
Other photos can be seen on the link.