A life-or-death photo of a fox attempting to capture a marmot just won the most prestigious wildlife photography award

The Moment by Yongqing Bao, China.

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The Moment by Yongqing Bao, China.
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© Yongqing Bao

  • The winners of the Natural History Museum’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition have been announced.
  • The overall winning image is “The Moment” by Yongqing Bao, which shows a marmot fearing for its life when encountering a hungry Tibetan fox.
  • It won the top prize out of 19 category winners and beat 48,000 entries from 100 countries.
  • Clearly depicting both humor and horror, the photo perfectly captures “the drama and intensity of nature,” the museum said in a official announcement.
  • It was taken in the alpine meadowland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China’s Qilian Mountains National Nature Reserve, where the marmot was not long out of hibernation.
  • “The intensity of life and death was written on their faces,” the caption reads. “The predator mid-move, her long canines revealed, and the terrified prey, forepaw outstretched, with long claws adapted for digging, not fighting.”
  • Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the judging panel, said “photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment.”
  • “The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance,” she said.
  • Director of the Natural History Museum, Sir Michael Dixon, said the picture “captures nature’s ultimate challenge – its battle for survival” as it was taken in an area under threat from global warming.
  • “At a time when precious habitats are facing increasing climate pressures, seeing these fleeting yet fascinating moments reminds us of what we need to protect,” he said.
  • The full collection of winning photographs will be shown at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition which will run from Friday 18 October 2019 to Sunday 31 May 2020 at the Natural History Museum in London.
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