A tiny leaf-cutter ant demonstrating its herculean strength while carrying home a heavy load and a mesmerising shot of a turtle gliding through the Red Sea are among the captivating images judged by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) to best illustrate the wonders of the animal kingdom.
The selection of winning and commended images, released today, are just a taster of the incredible pictures entered into the ZSL Animal Photography Prize 2013, which are now on display at ZSL London Zoo.
Following the astounding success of the debut competition last year, the ZSL Animal Photography Prize was launched in February 2013 to inspire amateur and professional photographers to get out and capture the magic of the natural world.
Run by international animal conservation charity the Zoological Society of London, the competition winners were chosen by a panel of distinguished judges including ZSL Honorary Conservation Fellow and television presenter Kate Humble and environmentalist David Bellamy.
A Giant Trophy for a Small Ant - Bence Mate
Photographer Vaclav Krpelik, whose highly commended image, The Slowest Sprinter, depicts a turtle in the Red Sea, said: “I met this big animal when free-diving in the Abu Dabbab bay. It emerged out of nowhere, eating the sea grass and coming right at me. This image captures the precise moment when the turtle decided to come up to the surface to take a breath.
“I am honoured to have my picture on display at ZSL London Zoo and through this competition I would like to draw attention to this amazing creature.”
Slowest Sprinter - Vaclav Krpelik
ZSL’s photography exhibition manager Sarah Barron added: “After the calibre of the entries into the ZSL Animal Photography Prize in 2012 we had high hopes for this year’s competition, but we couldn’t have anticipated the incredible quality of the images entered.
“The category names are designed to encourage photographers to think more profoundly about the natural world and the winning images truly reflect this aim; each photo provokes curiousity and wonder about the animal kingdom.
“The exhibition at ZSL London Zoo will not only be a fantastic experience for our visitors, but will help us to impassion people about the world’s wildlife.”
Thousands of adult and junior photographers submitted entries into categories including Last Chance to See, Size Matters and Deep and Meaningful, to be in with a chance of winning part of the £10,000 prize fund.
Other images that will be on display at the Zoo include an arresting profile of a neon pink parrotfish, a world-revered giant panda silhouetted against a black background and a serene heron bathing in the Maldivian sun.
See the exhibition at ZSL London Zoo
Book tickets to visit ZSL London Zoo from 20 September where visitors can enjoy the ZSL Animal Photography Prize exhibition at no extra cost.