‘Unique’ picture of tigress hugging tree wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year

‘Unique’ picture of tigress hugging tree wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year”

Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov scooped the prestigious Natural History Museum prize with his image The Embrace, showing a Siberian tigress hugging a fir tree.

Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov took nearly a year to capture the image through hidden cameras.

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is a subspecies of the big cat that can be found in the Russian Far East, northeastern China and potentially into North Korea. Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Cambridge, Patron of the Museum, announced Sergey Gorshkov as the grand title victor during an online awards ceremony live-streamed from the Museum on 13 October.

The Duchess of Cambridge introduced the victor in a ceremony live-streamed on Tuesday.

The unique image was selected from over 49,000 entries. Photographer Mogens Trolle won the animal portraits category with a photo of an endangered proboscis monkey basking in the sunlight in Sabah, Borneo.

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Photographs of a biologist looking at a Cordilleran fly catcher won prizes in the category of a nest outside his window, a small diamondback squid in the dark, and two wasps of different species entering neighboring nests. A unique glimpse of an intimate moment deep in a magical forest.

Rosamond Kidman Cox, chairman of the judging panel, said of the overall winning film, The Warmth: 'This is no other scene. One shows a muzzled polar bear performing in a Russian traveling circus, while another shows three tigers rescued from the Oklahoma animal park once owned by Joe Exotic, whose story was told in the popular Netflix series Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness. "A great natural history moment captured perfectly".

"Through the unique emotive power of photography, we are reminded of the beauty of the natural world and our shared responsibility to protect it".

"Hunted to the verge of extinction over the last century, the Amur population is still threatened by poaching and logging today", said Dr Tim Littlewood, a jury member and the Executive Director of Science of the Natural History Museum in London, who develop and produce the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. The museum will let only a limited number of visitors following all safety guidelines during COVID-19 to ensure it is a "safe and welcoming experience" to view the photographs in a crowd-free gallery.

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