Museum exhibits award-winning snaps
Urban foxes, playful lions and ferocious bears: all are on show at Auckland War Memorial Museum’s latest exhibition.
The Wildlife Photographer of The Year exhibition kicks off on Friday and features some of the best wildlife imagery from across the world.
One hundred award-winning photographs, including works by New Zealand photographer Lance van de Vyver, are on loan from the Natural History Museum in London.
Van de Vyver’s South African roots drew him back to his homeland, where he took the photo selected as a finalist in the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016.
In the Tswalu Kalahari Private Game Reserve, van de Vyver caught the moment a young lion cub gripped a rolled-up pangolin.
‘‘They rolled it around like a soccer ball,’’ he said.
‘‘Every time they lost interest, the pangolin uncurled and tried to retreat, attracting their attention again.’’
The lions played with the creature for 14 hours before leaving for a real hunt. It died soon after, most likely from stress.
Van de Vyver studied zoology at Massey University before pursuing photography at UCOL.
In 2013 he moved to South Africa to pursue his dream of working with wildlife.
He now takes clients on safari, teaching them photography in the field and helping them capture wildlife on film.
‘‘As a guide it’s our job to find and show our clients wildlife, including the ‘big five’ [lions, elephants, leopards, rhinos and buffalo], who get that name from being the most dangerous animals to track on foot,’’ he said.
Van de Vyver has been told off by lions when he got too close, had
He holds a philosophy of trying to have minimal impact on the animals, including not intervening in life-or-death situations.
‘‘The only time man should step in is when a man-made problem needs to be fixed.’’
The exhibition will run until December 3.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.