Photography

Mouse fight! The people's choice awards for best wildlife photography

Mouse fight! The people's choi...
'Station squabble'
'Station squabble'
View 6 Images
'Spot the reindeer'
1/6
'Spot the reindeer'
'The surrogate mother'
2/6
'The surrogate mother'
'Losing the fight'
3/6
'Losing the fight'
'Station squabble'
4/6
'Station squabble'
'Matching outfits'
5/6
'Matching outfits'
Overall Winner 2019, plus Winner in Behaviour: Mammals. Early spring on the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve
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Overall Winner 2019, plus Winner in Behaviour: Mammals. Early spring on the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve
View gallery - 6 images

Bristol-based filmmaker Sam Rowley has won the People’s Choice Award in the UK Natural History Museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest. Rowley’s incredible glimpse into a secret drama between two mice on an underground train station platform took a week to capture.

The overall winners of the 2019 contest were announced late last year with the top prize awarded to native Tibetan photographer Yongqing Bao for an impeccably timed shot preciously balancing whimsy and terror, which captures a Tibetan fox coming face to face with a marmot on the rarely photographed Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China.

Overall Winner 2019, plus Winner in Behaviour: Mammals. Early spring on the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve
Overall Winner 2019, plus Winner in Behaviour: Mammals. Early spring on the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau, in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve

Since those winners were announced the general public has been voting on a People’s Choice favorite from 25 shortlisted images. The shortlist was whittled down from the 48,000 entries, and 28,000 votes later Sam Rowley’s beguiling shot turned out to be the people’s favorite.

“Incredible photography is a combination of patience, luck and skill – Sam has managed the rare feat of pulling all three together in this single shot,” says Mike Owen, marketing manager from Panasonic Lumix UK, sponsor of the People’s Choice Award. “The simultaneously recognizable and unknown world Sam has captured draws the viewer into the image - it makes me stop and do a double take, seeing something new every time I look at it.”

The photograph, entitled "Station Squabble”, took Rowley five nights to capture. Laying patiently on grubby London underground platform his goal was to capture the behavior of the mice living in these dark tunnels.

“These mice only know the constant roar of trains and perpetual darkness,” says Rowley. “Most won't have ever seen daylight or felt grass under their feet. The tunnels are a desperate place to live if they need to have a boxing match over a tiny little crumb.”

'Losing the fight'
'Losing the fight'

Four other images were selected to make up the top five People’s Choice list. "Losing the fight" by UK photographer Aaron Gekoski offers a heartbreaking look at how orangutans are exploited for entertainment at Bangkok’s Safari World. Despite a temporary pause in 2004, these animal shows are still taking place daily.

'Spot the reindeer'
'Spot the reindeer'

"Spot the reindeer" by Spanish photographer Francis De Andres takes the viewer deep into the freezing wilderness of the Norwegian archipelago, Svalbard. A handful of white arctic reindeer spotted De Andres, and he captured the moment.

'Matching outfits'
'Matching outfits'

Lebanese photographer Michel Zoghzoghi’s amazing shot, "Matching outfits" was snapped one afternoon in Pantanal, Brazil. The compelling photograph shows two jaguars, a mother and cub, carrying an anaconda out of the river.

'The surrogate mother'
'The surrogate mother'

The final image in the top five is Martin Buzora’s "The surrogate mother" showing a ranger in northern Kenya caring for an orphaned black rhino. Taken at the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, the photograph profoundly highlights the bond between animal and human carer formed in a sanctuary where these animals are protected from poachers.

Source: Natural History Museum, Wildlife Photographer of the Year

View gallery - 6 images
6 comments
guzmanchinky
Incredible images. But why does Asia seem to hold a monopoly on animal suffering such as the poor Orangutan and wet markets? On the one hand you see the ultimate bond in the image with the Rhino caretaker, and on the other the utter disregard in the image from Thailand. Makes one's heart leap and cry at once.
Grunchy
I would just as soon leave the animals alone. Or else somehow minimize the impact with some kind of remote photography, like game cameras or something.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Enjoy wildlife while you can, folks. By the timer humanity has grown by billions more the only life on this planet will be us humans, the species we exploit and the pests we can't eradicate. Go anthropocene!!!
ljaques
GREAT set of photos. Kudos to the photogs.
buzzclick
"Station Squabble”, took Rowley five nights to capture...I can just see it, Sam lying there on the subway floor like a homeless person waiting for the moment...along come security guards telling him to move on, and when he explains to them that he's there to shoot a photo of mice, they tell him: "sure buddy, now move it before we put the cuffs on you". lol Now, four days later we see that Sam's pic has gotten a lot of mileage in the media. One doesn't think of mice (or rats) living underground in a subway as wildlife, do they?
CAVUMark
Did the mice sign releases?