A CAPTIVATING photo of two male lions – brothers – sharing a tender moment has won this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year Lumix people’s choice award.
The image was snapped by David Lloyd, a New Zealander based in London, who says the picture “illustrates the emotion and feeling of animals”.
The lions greeted and rubbed faces for about 30 seconds before settling down in Ndutu, Serengeti, Tanzania.
It’s unusual behaviour for lions to nuzzle for such a length of time, so Lloyd said he felt privileged to witness the special moment, and share it with others.
The Kiwi attributes his success in wildlife photography to being very patient.
According to his website, “possibly the best tip I can suggest is to stay with your subject for as long as possible”.
Sir Michael Dixon, director of the Natural History Museum – which runs the popular competition – added: “Lions are individuals with complex social bonds, and David’s winning picture provides a glimpse into their inner world.
“It is something I think more people need to be aware of for the sake of all animals.
“I hope the empathy and wonder garnered by this image will inspire more people to take action to protect nature.”
Lloyd’s image saw off competition from 24 other photos to top the public vote, after 16,000 nature fans had their say.
The museum shortlisted 25 images of the natural world, including the four below, from more than 45,000 entries submitted for the 2018 contest, by professional and amateur photographers from across the world.
All five images will be displayed at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the museum until it closes on June 30 2019.
Ian Owens, director of ccience at the musuem and member of the judging panel, said: “Inspiring audiences to connect with the natural world is at the heart of what we do and that’s why we’re so proud to run this competition.
“The LUMIX People’s Choice Award is special to us as it gives the public the chance to choose the winner.”
The competition is now in its 54th year.
Among the thousands of eye-catching photos submitted for the 2018 contest were:
Cristobal Serrano was caught in a close encounter with a curious crabeater seal near Cuverville Island, Antarctic Peninsula[/caption]
Antonio Leiva Sanchez uses the technique of high speed photography to capture this bat mid-flight[/caption]
This squirrel came to visit Audren Morel while he was photographing birds during a blizzard in France[/caption]
Phil Jones captured the moment in the Falkland Islands when scavengers began to move in after a male orca beached itself[/caption]
Rob Blanken captured this beautiful image of the pied avocet’s unique bill in the Netherlands[/caption]
Connor Stefanison captured a great grey owl sat with her chicks on top of a 50ft tree in Canada[/caption]
David Llloyd had been trekking in Uganda when he witnessed this baby gorilla clinging to its mother while keeping an eye on him[/caption]
An orphaned beaver held by a caretaker at the Sarvey Wildlife Center in Washington was snapped by Suzi Eszterhas[/caption]
Franco snapped this young male sperm whale trying to copulate with a female while free driving off Dominica in the Caribbean sea[/caption]
Tin Man Lee, from the USA, captured this touching moment between red, black and silver foxes[/caption]
Konstantin Shatenev snapped this incredible image of two eagles retrieving a dead fish from the ice[/caption]
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