Four other photographs were highly commended for the award, including Aaron Gekoski’s image of an exploited orangutan, Michel Zoghzhogi’s jaguar and her cub catching a huge snake, Martin Buzora’s picture of a baby black rhino with a conservation ranger and Francis De Andres’s group shot of a herd of white arctic reindeer.
The pictures will be on display in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum until May 31.
Aaron Gekoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Losing the fight
Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok – and many other locations – for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue – twice a day, every day – with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more. Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens; 1/100 sec at f/5.6, ISO 800.
Martin Buzora/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
The surrogate mother
Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild. Nikon D4S, 85mm f/1.4 lens; 1/5000 sec at f/1.4, ISO 800.
Michel Zoghzoghi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched mesmerized as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own. Canon EOS 1D X Mark II, 500mm f/4 lens; 1/1250 sec at f/13 (-1e/v), ISO 1250.
Francis De Andres/Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Spot the reindeer
The conditions for photographing at the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard are extreme, but wildlife has adapted to the environment and its freezing temperatures. Francis found this composition of white arctic reindeer, which were observing him, both curious and charming. Nikon D850, Nikon AF-S 200-400mm lens at f/4 VRII; 1/800 sec at f/5, ISO 100.