2008 Wildlife photo competition winners (some are not for sensitive viewers)

 

"This is the hardest story I have ever done because of the altitude and the steepness of the mountains," the U.S. photographer told National Geographic.
"At night it was 30 below zero [Fahrenheit]."
Over ten months Winter's 14 "camera traps" shot more than 30,000 frames in pursuit of the endangered cat. 
As few as 3,500 snow leopards remain in the wild.
snow leapord.jpg


Man and whale size each other up.
The photo was taken by Brian Skerry on assignment for National Geographic magazine off New Zealand's Auckland Islands,
where a "pristine population" of southern right whales, in Skerry's words, was discovered only ten years ago.

The U.S. photographer said he had deployed his assistant Mauricio Handler (pictured) as bait for this friendly 70-ton giant.

"The whales were highly curious of us. Many of these animals had never seen a human before," Skerry told National Geographic News.

underwater world.jpg



 "Deadlock" was captured in the dead of night in a Belizean rain forest.

U.K.-based David Maitland observed from midnight to 3 a.m. as a rare Morelet's tree frog doggedly refused to become supper for a cat-eyed snake--and still didn't see the conclusion.

"I would love to have seen them go their separate ways, but I was exhausted," the photographer said.
"The frog was all the time trying to pull the snake off, but the snake just wouldn't let go.

"This frog is actually incredibly rare, which lends to the bizarre nature of the whole encounter," he said.
--Photograph by David Maitland/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

animal behavior.jpg


"He would jump all over me, then run away," said Stefano Unterthiner of the black-crested macaque.
 "He was always hanging around."

Unterthiner followed a group of the monkeys on Indonesia's Sulawesi island for six weeks, always wearing the same clothes, so they would recognize him.

The rare animals spend 99 percent of their time foraging in the forest and rarely venture along the shore, according to Unterthiner.
Until recently the local tradition was to eat them for Christmas dinner, he added.
--Photograph by Stefano Unterthiner/Wildlife Photographer of the Year



black crested macaque.jpg



A snowy clash of white-tailed eagles during a Polish winter is among the winning images.

After finding a dead moose next to a rail track, photographer Antoni Kasprzak waited five hours until the two birds, a juvenile and an adult, descended and began fighting over the carcass.

"The old, more experienced bird won, forcing the immature eagle to wait its turn more than an hour," Kasprzak said.

white tialed eagles.jpg

 


The next one might not be for sensitive viewers!

 



French photographer Cyril Ruoso pursued the screams of hunting chimpanzees through dense forests in Tanzania's Gombe National Park-
-and captured this winner of the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, announced October 30, 2008, in London.

The central and dominant figure, unwilling to share his half of a wild pig, is a 31-year-old male known as Frodo, lead hunter of his group.
"Frodo is a warrior," Ruoso said. "He catches the prey 80 percent of the time."
Such a large catch is rare for Gombe's chimpanzees, which usually target small monkeys, Ruoso said.

 


chimps.jpg



 


The last one is really not for sensitive viewers!!!

 



A black colobus monkey has its fur singed in preparation for sale at an illegal bush-meat market in Gabon.

"They singe the fur off, then sell the animals naked but intact," U.K. photographer David Maitland explained.
The shot was taken in Gabon's capital city, Libreville, where sea turtles, crocodiles, porcupines, antelopes, and other protected animals were openly on sale.

"It was only afterwards that I realized how strong this image was," Maitland said. "It was very upsetting to be there."
--Photograph by David Maitland/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

colobus monkey.jpg



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