See more winning images: Wildlife photographer of the year people’s choice award – in pictures
In 2012 Valentin Gruener rescued a young lion cub and raised it himself at a wildlife park in Botswana. It was the start of an extraordinary relationship.
Now an astonishing scene is repeated each time they meet – the young lion leaps on Gruener and holds him in an affectionate embrace.
“Since the lion arrived, which is three years now, I haven’t really left the camp,” says Gruener.
“Sometimes for one night I go into the town here to organise something for the business, but other than that I’ve been here with the lion.”
The lion he has devoted himself to is Sirga – a female cub he rescued from a holding pen established by a farmer who was fed up with shooting animals that preyed on his cattle.
Read more (and video)… BBC News – The lion hugger.
A black-and-white photograph of a charging rhinoceros dominates one wall of David Yarrow’s $230 million hedge-fund firm, Clareville Capital Partners LLP, in London. Unlike the art that hangs in the offices of most highflying hedge funds, however, the image is not the creation of an outside artist but rather of the money manager himself. Yarrow, 48, took the impossibly up-close picture in Kenya last year, and in early September sold a print of the image to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge — aka Prince William and Kate Middleton — who have since had it installed in their Georgian mansion in Norfolk.
Few hedge-fund managers can successfully oversee millions while pursuing a lucrative side career. Yet Yarrow has done just that by reinventing himself as a wildlife photographer, with exhibitions at the Saatchi Gallery and Christie’s in London and a show at New York’s Rotella Gallery in October. Since last autumn, Yarrow has sold more than $1.7 million worth of prints, donating 10 percent of the proceeds to Tusk, a charity that works to halt the trade in ivory and rhino horn in Africa.
A photograph of stampeding blesbok antelopes on the plains of South Africa’s Kariega Game Reserve has won best European Wildlife photograph.
The image, called Living Rock Art by Neil Aldridge, aims to “capture the energy and movement of the blesboks in a still frame”.
“I actually hadn’t envisaged that the result would so closely resemble Bushman rock art.”
Mr Aldridge is a contributing photographer to the BBC Wildlife Magazine, Wild Travel Magazine, South Africa’s Go! Magazine and has published a book Underdogs about the endangered African wild dog.
This hair-raising picture shows brave tourists risking their lives for pictures as they strayed close to fighting jaguars.
Seasoned wildlife photographer Paul Williams was overjoyed to finally find elusive jaguars in their natural habitat, the Brazilian Pantanal, the world’s largest tropical wetland area.
But Paul, 34, who works for the BBC Natural History Unit, soon found his joy turn to terror as he watched foolhardy tour boats jostling to see which could get the closest.
“Sadly it’s a scene that’s too common in natural parks around the world, but it’s important to remember that without tourism many of these areas would be under threat. Everyone has the right to experience nature and wildlife, but the organisations and companies who manage this have a responsibility to ensure that the welfare of the wildlife is paramount.”