On Tuesday, the London Natural History Museum announced the 2017 Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice award winner and finalists. The captivating images had to beat out some 50,000 entries, with the ultimate winner receiving almost 20,000 votes.
The museum has been holding an annual photography competition for over 50 years, with the judges’ winners being announced late last year. The People’s Choice winner (above), taken by Canadian photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, shows a lowland gorilla in the arms of a caretaker after being rescued from poachers in Cameroon. The gorilla is named Pikin, and the caretaker is Appolinaire Ndohoudou.
In a statement, McArther said that while she “regularly documents the cruelties animals endure at our hands” she sometimes bears witness to “stories of rescue, hope and redemption.” The image was taken as Pikin was being moved to an animal sanctuary with other gorillas. Sedated at first, she awoke during the transfer in Ndohoudou’s arms.
The winning image, selected from a shortlist of 24, was announced alongside four finalists, which are also pretty great:
Ray Chin encountered this humpback mother and calf hanging around in plankton-filled water near Tonga.
Luciano Candisani climbed a tree in southern Brazil’s rainforest to get this intimate, striking shot of a three-toed sloth.
It’s not every day you see a lilac-breasted roller riding a zebra. Lucky for us, Lakshitha Karunarathna captured the cute pairing in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve.
Debra Garside waited for six days near the den of this polar bear family in Canada’s Wapusk National Park before they finally emerged from their winter hibernation. Seems it was worth it.