Mu­seum ex­hibits award-win­ning snaps

Auckland City Harbour News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - JACK FLETCHER AND HE­LEN KING

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.

SAM HOBSON/WILDLIFE PHO­TOG­RA­PHER OF THE YEAR

Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year is de­vel­oped and pro­duced by the Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum, Lon­don.

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