Tale of two foxes among winning images at exhibition of wildlife photography

Natural History Museum. Picture Don Gutoski
Natural History Museum. Picture Don Gutoski
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Stunning images of wildlife will be unveiled in Tring this weekend as winners of a world-renowned competition.

A red and an Arctic fox are among the best highlights from the acclaimed Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition opening at the Natural History Museum.

The free exhibition opens on Saturday, December 12, featuring 20 awe-inspiring winning images from this year’s contest.

Head of the museum, Paul Kitching, said: “We are excited to be able to share a new format for this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year with our visitors, here

in Tring. The beautiful back-lit winning images and slideshow look really impressive and will offer visitors a free taste of the atmospheric experience of the full exhibition at our Natural History Museum in London.”

Winners of this year’s prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition were announced in October at an awards ceremony held at the Natural History Museum in London.

Canadian amateur photographer Don Gutoski was named Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 by a panel of international judges for his image Tale of two foxes, a beautiful but haunting portrait of the struggle for life in the subarctic climes of Cape Churchill, Canada, where the range of the red fox and the more northern Arctic fox overlap.

Don said: “The Churchill guides had heard that the two species will occasionally fight, but no one we talked to had ever seen this behaviour. I first noticed the red fox hunting and interacting with some prey and on closer approach realised that prey was a white Arctic fox. By the time I got close enough to capture the event, the fight was over and the victor was feeding.”

Jury member and National Geographic magazine’s senior editor for natural history projects Kathy Moran says: “The immediate impact of this photograph is that it appears as if the red fox is slipping out of its winter coat. What might simply be a straightforward interaction between predator and prey struck the jury as a stark example of climate change, with red foxes encroaching on Arctic fox territory. The bottom line is, this image works on multiple levels. It is graphic, it captures behaviour and it is one of the strongest single storytelling photographs I have seen.”

Meanwhile 14-year-old Ondrej Pelánek from the Czech Republic won the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2015 title for his image Fighting ruffs, which are waders known for their warlike behaviour during courting.

The competition, owned by the Natural History Museum, London, is judged by a panel of industry-recognised professionals. Images, submitted by both professional and amateur photographers, are selected for their creativity, artistry and technical complexity.

Grand title winners will be on display from 12 December at the Natural History Museum at Tring, while the full exhibition, featuring shortlisted and winning images from this year’s competition, is open until May 30 at the Natural History Museum in London.

The 2016 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition is open for entries between

December 2015 and February 2016.

The Tring exhibition runs until the end of February. Visit www.nhm.ac.uk/tring