A stunning photo of a tiger hugging a tree has won Sergey Gorshkov the title of Wildlife Photographer of the Year, an award given by London’s Natural History Museum.
In the photo, a female tiger embraces a tree, marking her territory in Russia’s Land of the Leopard National Park. Gorshkov captured the incredible image by setting up the camera equipment in the forest and then leaving. When the tiger came by, the photo was taken automatically.
WPY chair of judges Roz Kidman-Cox told The Guardian that the photograph tells a story "in glorious colour and texture of the comeback of the Amur tiger, a symbol of the Russian wilderness."
"It’s a scene like no other," she added. "Shafts of low winter sun highlight the ancient fir tree and the coat of the huge tigress as she grips the trunk in obvious ecstasy and inhales the scent of tiger on resin, leaving her own mark as her message."
The animal is an Amur tiger, also called a Siberian tiger, a species that has been hunted to near extinction. Though there are now greater protections in place for the endangered species, the tigers are still threatened by poaching and logging,
Kate Middleton unveiled Gorshkov as the winner of the Natural History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year in a virtual ceremony on Tuesday.
The Duchess of Cambridge, 38, said, "It is so wonderful to be back at the re-opened Natural History Museum where we can all enjoy its treasures once again."
"I’m delighted to be announcing the Grand Title winner of the fifty-sixth Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition," Kate added. "As we have seen this evening, the competition attracts the very best in wildlife photography. The skill and creativity of this year’s images provide a moving and fascinating insight into the beauty and vulnerability of life on our planet."
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