From giant elephants to tiny spiders: Go wild with winners of Wildlife photographer of the year contest

·5 min read
Adam Oswell (Australia) draws attention to zoo visitors watching a young elephant perform under water. Although this performance was promoted as educational and as exercise for the elephants, Adam was disturbed by this scene. Organisations concerned with the welfare of captive elephants view performances like these as exploitative because they encourage unnatural behaviour. Image Courtesy: Adam Oswell/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Adam Oswell (Australia) draws attention to zoo visitors watching a young elephant perform under water. Although this performance was promoted as educational and as exercise for the elephants, Adam was disturbed by this scene. Organisations concerned with the welfare of captive elephants view performances like these as exploitative because they encourage unnatural behaviour. Image Courtesy: Adam Oswell/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Adam Oswell (Australia) draws attention to zoo visitors watching a young elephant perform under water. Although this performance was promoted as educational and as exercise for the elephants, Adam was disturbed by this scene. Organisations concerned with the welfare of captive elephants view performances like these as exploitative because they encourage unnatural behaviour. Image Courtesy: Adam Oswell/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

 The director of the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre, in Kinshasa, cuddles a chimp orphaned by the bushmeat trade. Young chimps are given one-to-one care to ease their psychological and physical trauma. These chimps are lucky, as fewer than one in 10 orphans are rescued. Many people rely on meat from wild animals €
The director of the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre, in Kinshasa, cuddles a chimp orphaned by the bushmeat trade. Young chimps are given one-to-one care to ease their psychological and physical trauma. These chimps are lucky, as fewer than one in 10 orphans are rescued. Many people rely on meat from wild animals €

The director of the Lwiro Primate Rehabilitation Centre, in Kinshasa, cuddles a chimp orphaned by the bushmeat trade. Young chimps are given one-to-one care to ease their psychological and physical trauma. These chimps are lucky, as fewer than one in 10 orphans are rescued. Many people rely on meat from wild animals €" bush meat €" for protein, as well as a source of income. Many staff at the centre are survivors of military conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Image Courtesy: Brent Stirton/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco (Spain) enjoys the splendour of the sunflowers and a melodious warbler singing its heart out. As light faded at the end of a warm May afternoon, Andrés's attention was drawn to a warbler flitting from flower to flower. From his hide in his father's car, Andrés photographed the singer, 'the king of its territory'. Image Courtesy: Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco (Spain) enjoys the splendour of the sunflowers and a melodious warbler singing its heart out. As light faded at the end of a warm May afternoon, Andrés's attention was drawn to a warbler flitting from flower to flower. From his hide in his father's car, Andrés photographed the singer, 'the king of its territory'. Image Courtesy: Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco (Spain) enjoys the splendour of the sunflowers and a melodious warbler singing its heart out. As light faded at the end of a warm May afternoon, Andrés's attention was drawn to a warbler flitting from flower to flower. From his hide in his father's car, Andrés photographed the singer, 'the king of its territory'. Image Courtesy: Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Laurent Ballesta peers into the depths as a trio of camouflage groupers exit their milky cloud of eggs and sperm. For five years Laurent and his team returned to this lagoon, diving day and night to see the annual spawning of camouflage groupers. They were joined after dark by reef sharks hunting the fish. Spawning happens around the full moon in July, when up to 20,000 fish gather in Fakarava in a narrow southern channel linking the lagoon with the ocean. Image Courtesy: Laurent Ballesta/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Laurent Ballesta peers into the depths as a trio of camouflage groupers exit their milky cloud of eggs and sperm. For five years Laurent and his team returned to this lagoon, diving day and night to see the annual spawning of camouflage groupers. They were joined after dark by reef sharks hunting the fish. Spawning happens around the full moon in July, when up to 20,000 fish gather in Fakarava in a narrow southern channel linking the lagoon with the ocean. Image Courtesy: Laurent Ballesta/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Laurent Ballesta peers into the depths as a trio of camouflage groupers exit their milky cloud of eggs and sperm. For five years Laurent and his team returned to this lagoon, diving day and night to see the annual spawning of camouflage groupers. They were joined after dark by reef sharks hunting the fish. Spawning happens around the full moon in July, when up to 20,000 fish gather in Fakarava in a narrow southern channel linking the lagoon with the ocean. Image Courtesy: Laurent Ballesta/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Two barely four centimetre long adult males Neolamprologus brevis battle for the ownership of a shell. Image Courtesy: Angel Fitor/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Two barely four centimetre long adult males Neolamprologus brevis battle for the ownership of a shell. Image Courtesy: Angel Fitor/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Two barely four centimetre long adult males Neolamprologus brevis battle for the ownership of a shell. Image Courtesy: Angel Fitor/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Imagine looking under your bed, only to find the second most venomous spider in the world, which is also one of the world's largest true spiders, sitting there guarding a thousand baby spiders that hatched from an egg sac. The mere thought of it would send chills down the spine of many people, and this is exactly the scenario I found myself dealing with while visiting a biological station in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Wandering spiders, like this Phoneutria fera, are widely abundant in the area and they often dwell into man-made habitats. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Imagine looking under your bed, only to find the second most venomous spider in the world, which is also one of the world's largest true spiders, sitting there guarding a thousand baby spiders that hatched from an egg sac. The mere thought of it would send chills down the spine of many people, and this is exactly the scenario I found myself dealing with while visiting a biological station in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Wandering spiders, like this Phoneutria fera, are widely abundant in the area and they often dwell into man-made habitats. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Imagine looking under your bed, only to find the second most venomous spider in the world, which is also one of the world's largest true spiders, sitting there guarding a thousand baby spiders that hatched from an egg sac. The mere thought of it would send chills down the spine of many people, and this is exactly the scenario I found myself dealing with while visiting a biological station in the Ecuadorian Amazon. Wandering spiders, like this Phoneutria fera, are widely abundant in the area and they often dwell into man-made habitats. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Two Svalbard reindeer fight for control of a harem. Watching the battle, the photographer felt immersed in 'the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain'. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male, left, chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed. Reindeer are widespread around the Arctic, but this subspecies occurs only in Svalbard. Populations are affected by the climate crisis, where increased rainfall can freeze on the ground, preventing access to plants. Image Courtesy: Stefano Unterthiner/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Two Svalbard reindeer fight for control of a harem. Watching the battle, the photographer felt immersed in 'the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain'. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male, left, chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed. Reindeer are widespread around the Arctic, but this subspecies occurs only in Svalbard. Populations are affected by the climate crisis, where increased rainfall can freeze on the ground, preventing access to plants. Image Courtesy: Stefano Unterthiner/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Two Svalbard reindeer fight for control of a harem. Watching the battle, the photographer felt immersed in 'the smell, the noise, the fatigue and the pain'. The reindeer clashed antlers until the dominant male, left, chased its rival away, securing the opportunity to breed. Reindeer are widespread around the Arctic, but this subspecies occurs only in Svalbard. Populations are affected by the climate crisis, where increased rainfall can freeze on the ground, preventing access to plants. Image Courtesy: Stefano Unterthiner/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Majed Ali glimpses the moment a mountain gorilla closes its eyes in the rain. Majed trekked for four hours to meet Kibande, an almost-40- year-old mountain gorilla. 'The more we climbed, the hotter and more humid it got,' Majed recalls. As cooling rain began to fall, Kibande remained in the open, seeming to enjoy the shower. Image Courtesy: Majed Ali/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Majed Ali glimpses the moment a mountain gorilla closes its eyes in the rain. Majed trekked for four hours to meet Kibande, an almost-40- year-old mountain gorilla. 'The more we climbed, the hotter and more humid it got,' Majed recalls. As cooling rain began to fall, Kibande remained in the open, seeming to enjoy the shower. Image Courtesy: Majed Ali/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Majed Ali glimpses the moment a mountain gorilla closes its eyes in the rain. Majed trekked for four hours to meet Kibande, an almost-40- year-old mountain gorilla. 'The more we climbed, the hotter and more humid it got,' Majed recalls. As cooling rain began to fall, Kibande remained in the open, seeming to enjoy the shower. Image Courtesy: Majed Ali/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A fishing spider stretches out silk from its spinnerets to weave into its egg sac. The photographer discovered this spider under loose bark. 'The action of the spinnerets reminded me of the movement of human fingers when weaving,' the photographer sayid. These spiders are common in wetlands and temperate forests of eastern North America. More than 750 eggs have been recorded in a single sac. Fishing spiders carry their egg sacs with them until the eggs hatch and the spiderlings disperse. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
A fishing spider stretches out silk from its spinnerets to weave into its egg sac. The photographer discovered this spider under loose bark. 'The action of the spinnerets reminded me of the movement of human fingers when weaving,' the photographer sayid. These spiders are common in wetlands and temperate forests of eastern North America. More than 750 eggs have been recorded in a single sac. Fishing spiders carry their egg sacs with them until the eggs hatch and the spiderlings disperse. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A fishing spider stretches out silk from its spinnerets to weave into its egg sac. The photographer discovered this spider under loose bark. 'The action of the spinnerets reminded me of the movement of human fingers when weaving,' the photographer said. These spiders are common in wetlands and temperate forests of eastern North America. More than 750 eggs have been recorded in a single sac. Fishing spiders carry their egg sacs with them until the eggs hatch and the spiderlings disperse. Image Courtesy: Gil Wizen/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The photographer captures ravens during a courtship display. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens' breeding season. Kalyn lay on the frozen ground using the muted light to capture the detail of the ravens' iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together. Ravens probably mate for life. This couple exchanged gifts €
The photographer captures ravens during a courtship display. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens' breeding season. Kalyn lay on the frozen ground using the muted light to capture the detail of the ravens' iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together. Ravens probably mate for life. This couple exchanged gifts €

The photographer captures ravens during a courtship display. It was midwinter, the start of the ravens' breeding season. Kalyn lay on the frozen ground using the muted light to capture the detail of the ravens' iridescent plumage against the contrasting snow to reveal this intimate moment when their thick black bills came together. Ravens probably mate for life. This couple exchanged gifts €" moss, twigs and small stones €" and preened and serenaded each other with soft warbling sounds to strengthen their relationship, or 'pair bond'. Image Courtesy: Shane Kalyn/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A reflection of a marine ranger among the seaweed. At the world's southernmost tropical reef, the photographer wanted to show how careful human management helps preserve this vibrant seaweed jungle. With only a 40-minute window where tide conditions were right, it took three days of trial and error before he got his image. Image Courtesy: Justin Gilligan/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
A reflection of a marine ranger among the seaweed. At the world's southernmost tropical reef, the photographer wanted to show how careful human management helps preserve this vibrant seaweed jungle. With only a 40-minute window where tide conditions were right, it took three days of trial and error before he got his image. Image Courtesy: Justin Gilligan/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A reflection of a marine ranger among the seaweed. At the world's southernmost tropical reef, the photographer wanted to show how careful human management helps preserve this vibrant seaweed jungle. With only a 40-minute window where tide conditions were right, it took three days of trial and error before he got his image. Image Courtesy: Justin Gilligan/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A grizzly bear has taken an interest in the photographer's camera trap. The lensman decided these bull elk remains were an ideal spot to set a camera trap. Returning to the scene was challenging. He bridged gushing meltwater with fallen trees, only to find his setup trashed. This was the last frame captured on the camera. Image Courtesy: Zack Clothier/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year
A grizzly bear has taken an interest in the photographer's camera trap. The lensman decided these bull elk remains were an ideal spot to set a camera trap. Returning to the scene was challenging. He bridged gushing meltwater with fallen trees, only to find his setup trashed. This was the last frame captured on the camera. Image Courtesy: Zack Clothier/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

A grizzly bear has taken an interest in the photographer's camera trap. The lensman decided these bull elk remains were an ideal spot to set a camera trap. Returning to the scene was challenging. He bridged gushing meltwater with fallen trees, only to find his setup trashed. This was the last frame captured on the camera. Image Courtesy: Zack Clothier/2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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