Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 was awarded the 'Tiger Embrace'

Etna's river of fire by Luciano Gaudenzio Italy

Etna's river of fire by Luciano Gaudenzio Italy

Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov is the 2020 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award for his picture of a Siberian tigress embracing a fir tree.

Gorshkov was able to take the photograph with the help of park rangers, who guided him to a tree marked with tiger hair, odor and claw marks.

Finnish photographer Liina Heikkinen was crowned the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2020 for her image of a fox protecting the goose it caught from five siblings.

Winners were selected from a shortlist of 100 images and will be exhibited at the Natural History Museum in London before embarking on a United Kingdom and worldwide tour.

Winning images in different categories include a profile shot of a young male proboscis monkey, a rare picture of Pallas's cats taken in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and a polar bear in a circus.

This species can be found only in Russia's deep forest and is on the verge of extinction. The picture, titled The Embrace, shows the intimate moment in which the female tiger is seen embracing a tree, rubbing against the bark to leave her scent and mark territory.

'This is the story told in the glorious color and texture of the return of the Amur tiger, the symbol of the Russian jungle'.

'The remarkable view of the tiger's immersion in its natural environment gives us confidence, as recent reports suggest that numbers are rising from dedicated conservation efforts.

"Through the unique emotive power of photography, we are reminded of the beauty of the natural world and our shared responsibility to protect it". The museum will let only a limited number of visitors following all safety guidelines during COVID-19 to ensure it is a "safe and welcoming experience" to view the photographs in a crowd-free gallery.

Sergey Gorshkov's grand prize award was announced by Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge and TV presenters Chris Packham and Megan McCubbin during an online event organized by London's Natural History Museum.

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