See The Winning Shots From This Year's Wildlife Photographer Of The Year
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A bald eagle, its feathers matted by the rain, stares right back at us while a spider holds on to the head of a hoverfly like a trophy, the decapitated body lying next to it.
These are just two of the 100 stunning images in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, now in its 53rd incarnation at the Natural History Museum.
Every year we're blown away by brilliant photography that hits us with an emotional punch, and this year is no different. We're saddened to see a tiger cub that has lost its paw to a snare and we completely sympathise as it snarls at us. We're in awe of the power of two crocodiles jousting underwater and we can't help but smile at the comical scene of a fox half-buried in the snow as it dives in headfirst to try and catch a mouse.
The winners this year capture both ends of the spectrum. The overall winner shows a dead black rhino that has had its horn savagely hacked off. It's saddening, and makes viewers angry to see this still happening, given the lack of proof that rhino horn has any medicinal benefits.
The Young Photographer section winner is a gorilla looking very pleased with himself as he plays with a breadfruit. Two very contrasting images and both worthy winners.
This year the Portraits category returns, and contains some of the strongest images. An arctic fox stares at us hungrily as it runs off with a snow goose egg in its mouth, and an elephant matriarch with half her face in the light and the other in darkness is a striking image.
We love how the photographers can bring out the human side of animals — a bunch of tortoises tussling for a shady spot under a tree made us think of Clapham Junction at rush hour, and an octopus trying to single out a crab to feast on among hundreds appears overwhelmed like all his Christmases have come at once.
This year contains many stunning entries, but not every shot took our breath away, which is a slight step down from the last two years. Every visitor is guaranteed to find at least a handful of favourite images, but it's not quite on par with previous year's five star exhibitions.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is on at Natural History Museum from 20 October 2017 to 28 May 2018. Tickets for adults start from £12.50.
*Post-publication note: the leading image was later disqualified from the competition for being staged.
Last Updated 20 May 2018