The Natural History Museum (NHM) in London has provided a sneak peek of their Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, including a ghoulish sea creature and a macaque hitching a ride on a deer’s back.
Among the many impressive images, the NHM shared a heartbreaking photograph of a distressed elephant that had just been struck by a train in Gabon. Tragically, the elephant's hip was shattered beyond repair and it had to be put down. It's estimated that 20 elephants are hit by trains in Lopé National Park each year. Many of these speeding trains are transporting manganese from the Moanda mine, which holds 25 percent of known reserves in the world.
The overall winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition will be announced at an awards ceremony on October 10, 2023. An international panel of judges will assess the images based on their creativity, originality, and technical excellence.
A curated collection of 100 winning images will be put on display for an exhibition at the NHM on October 13. After the flagship exhibition in London, the image will then go on a national and international tour, so keep your eyes peeled if it’s coming to a city near you.
In its 59th year, this year’s competition has attracted almost 50,000 entries from 95 countries around the world.
These images are just a sample of Highly Commended images, picked to whet the appetite of nature lovers who might be interested in the final winners. Judging by this preview, the competition is shaping up nicely.
“What most impressed the jury was the range of subjects, from absolute beauty, rarely seen behaviors and species to images that are stark reminders of what we are doing to the natural world. We felt a powerful tension between wonder and woe that we believe came together to create a thought-provoking collection of photographs,” Kathy Moran, Chair of the judging panel, said in a statement sent to IFLScience.
“We are facing urgent biodiversity and climate crises, and photography is a powerful catalyst for change. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition reveals some of nature’s most wondrous sights whilst offering hope and achievable actions visitors can take to help protect the natural world,” added Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the NHM.
To browse through winners from previous years and find out how to get tickets for the exhibition, visit the the competition website.