Top wildlife pho­tos un­veiled

Na­ture struts its stuff in these win­ning en­tries from the Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year com­pe­ti­tion


THEY’RE dubbed the Os­cars of wildlife pho­tog­ra­phy and show­case all that’s awe-spir­ing in na­ture. The 54th Wildlife Pho­tog­ra­pher of the Year con­test is run by the UK’s Nat­u­ral His­tory Mu­seum and this year drew more than 45 000 en­tries from 95 coun­tries. Among the South Africans whose work won prizes is 16-year-old Skye Meaker from Dur­ban North for his por­trait of a dozy leop­ard.

Loung­ing leop­ard by Skye Meaker, South Africa. Grand ti­tle win­ner 2018, 15-17 years old The por­trait of a sleepy leop­ard was taken by Skye Meaker (16) in Botswana’s Mashatu Game Re­serve. As the leop­ard opened her eyes for a sec­ond, over­head branches moved to let in light that gave them a glint, help­ing Skye to cre­ate his mem­o­rable por­trait.

The meerkat mob by Ter­tius A Gous, South Africa. Highly com­mended 2018, be­hav­iour: mam­mals A co­bra got more than it bar­gained for when it threat­ened two meerkat pups on Namibia’s Brand­berg Moun­tain. The rest of the 20-strong pack split into two and launched into a spir­ited 10-minute de­fence. Fi­nally, the co­bra gave up and slunk away. 84 |

Pipe owls by Ar­shdeep Singh, In­dia. Win­ner 2018, 10 years and un­der Ar­shdeep (10) pho­tographed these two owlets hud­dling to­gether at the open­ing of an old waste pipe while he and his fa­ther were leav­ing Ka­purthal – a city in the In­dian state of Pun­jab – to go on a bird­ing trip. The re­sult is a charm­ing por­trait of a species that has adapted to ur­ban life.

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