Humpback whale leaps from the sea, an eagle fights off a fox and two rams clash heads in breathtaking photographs shortlisted for top wildlife prize
A series of breathtaking pictures shortlisted for a top wildlife photography award include a humpback whale leaping from the sea in California, an eagle fighting a fox in Japan, and bighorn rams coming to blows in Canada.
The humpback whale performed the stunt for snapper Douglas Croft in California’s Monterey Bay as it breached meters from a fisherman’s boat, towering above the vessel as it leapt out of the sea.
Another picture, of a beautiful snowy owl flying towards the camera in Missaukee County, Michigan was captured by 14-year-old bird lover and photographer John Fortener while he was sitting in his mother’s car.
A golden snub-nosed monkey was snapped clinging to its mother in China as she balanced on a thin branch.
Similarly, a baby elephant took centre stage in a ‘fortress of mighty legs’ during a Kenyan sunrise as the herd marched for a morning feats. Elephants position their young in the middle of the herd for protection.
Also in Kenya, a band of flamingos was pictured from a helicopter flying over a lake where saline expanse minerals catch the sunlight, forming swirls across the water. In Japan, an eagle was pictured fending off a red fox – the duelling pair contrasted against the snow behind them.
The National Wildlife Magazine’s photo contest had over 40,000 entries. The Grand Prize winner of the 2021 contest was an orangutan escaping flooded forest floor, highlighting the impact deforestation has on wildlife.
Thomas Vijayan caught the breathtaking snap, which shows a male orangutan climbing up a tree from a flooded forest floor that reflects the sky, in Borneo, Indonesia.