Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 – the winners

Memorial to a species by Brent Stirton

Photojournalist Brent Stirton won the grand title with an image of a shot and dehorned black rhino.

The image, Memorial to a species, was taken in South Africa's Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park. It emerged as the winning shot from almost 50,000 competition entries from 92 countries.

Brent's image will be on show with 99 other photographs selected by an international panel of judges at the fifty-third Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.

A tragic scene

Black rhinos were once the most numerous of the world's rhino species. But now they are critically endangered because of poaching and the illegal international trade in rhino horn, one of the world's most corrupt illegal wildlife networks.

Competition judge Roz Kidman Cox says, 'To make such a tragic scene almost majestic in its sculptural power deserves the highest award. There is rawness, but there is also great poignancy and therefore dignity in the fallen giant.

'It's also symbolic of one of the most wasteful, cruel and unnecessary environmental crimes, one that needs to provoke the greatest public outcry.'

For the photographer, the crime scene was one of more than thirty he visited in the course of covering this tragic story.

The young winner

The good life © Daniël Nelson

Daniël Nelson won Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2017 with a portrait of a young western lowland gorilla from the Republic of Congo, lounging on the forest floor while eating African breadfruit (pictured above).

Daniël's image captures the similarity between wild apes and humans, and the importance of the forest on which they depend.

Daniel Beltra, competition judge and previous grand title winner, says, 'This intimate scene of a gorilla lounging on the forest floor is peaceful, a state of being we would wish for all these magnificent creatures.'

Source: Natural History Museum

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