Wildlife photographer Sergey Gorshkov from Russia was awarded the Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) for 2020 for his magnificent image titled ‘The Embrace,’ which captures a rare glimpse of a female tiger in its wild habitat, hugging a tree.
Female tigers are known to exchange important information, which includes the need for a mating partner, by leaving their hair, urine, and scent on areas such as tree trunks. In the picture, a female tiger is seen rubbing herself against the bark of a tree to leave her scent and thus mark her territory.
Gorshkov was able to capture this awe-inspiring image in the forests of Russia’s Far East after 10 months of perseverance and dedication.
Gorshkov is an acclaimed photographer who regularly captures the richness and magnificence of Russia’s wilderness. Apart from being a regular contributor to the National Geographic, he is a widely published photographer, having four books to his credit.
“The lighting, the colours, the texture – it’s like an oil painting,” said WPY chair of judges Roz Kidman-Cox.
“It’s almost as if the tiger is part of the forest. Her tail blends with the roots of the tree. The two are one,” she added.
Meanwhile Liina Heikkinen from Finland was awarded the WPY Young Grand title Award for 2020 for her picture titled ‘The Fox That Got the Goose,’ which depicts a young fox consuming a barnacle goose.
“The judges particularly liked it because only a really keen young naturalist would have been able to get such a picture,” explained Roz Kidmand-Cox. “The composition is wonderful. Liina must have been lying on the ground because she’s eye to eye with that young fox.”
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year, conducted by the National History Museum in the UK, has been awarding the world’s best nature photography every year since 1965.
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