Photo Awards: These are the best animal and nature photos of 2021

The judges of the “World Nature Photography Awards” have chosen the winners of this year’s competition and published the breathtaking photos of the numerous participants. The winning photo is not only impressive, but also somewhat shocking.

The World Nature Photography Awards are held every year and photographers from all over the world can enter the competition and submit their photos. Places one to three are awarded in each of the categories. The pictures must show a special animal behavior, people in contact with nature or a landscape. EineTierwelt introduces you to the winners of the categories.

The best animal portrait

These long-tailed macaques warm each other up on the Indonesian island of Bali. Their behavior is very similar to that of us humans. The monkeys are also able to enjoy the company of their fellows. The photo by Tom Vierus won in the “Animal Portraits” category.

Long-tailed macaques keep each other warm.
Photo: Tom Vierus

The king of the jungle

This image is not only impressive but also quite intimidating. The orangutan posing here for photographer Thomas Vijayan clearly shows who’s boss. In Borneo, he leans majestically against a log before disappearing back into the forest.

Orangutan in Borneo.
Photo: Thomas Vijayan

A flowery frog

Photographer Shayne Kaye actually didn’t want to take any nature photos that day in Canada. However, when he was in the park with friends, he noticed this Pacific Tree Frog sitting calmly on a flower. The photographer waited until the light shone perfectly through the treetops and snapped the shot. The image secured him the win in the Animal Behavior of Amphibians and Reptiles category.

Frog sits on a flower.
Photo: Shayne Kaye

Not for the faint of heart: vultures eat wildebeest

Not for the faint-hearted, the winning photo in the Bird Behavior category shows a vulture pouncing on a dead wildebeest and pecking out its eye while a fox looks on. Photographer Ashok Behera shot the extraordinary picture in Kenya.

Vulture eats wildebeest.
Photo: Ashok Behera

Ants under pressure

The Red Ant is known for its teamwork. If a group encounters a water obstacle, the animals quickly form a bridge so that their fellows can cross the spot without getting wet. The scene was photographed by Chin Leong Teo in Indonesia.

Ants build a bridge.
Photo: Chin Leong Teo

Shocking winning photo

This photo not only won the Mammalian Animal Behavior category, but also the entire World Nature Photography Awards competition. You can see a leopard seal, which swims towards a small gentoo penguin with its mouth wide open and will shortly be eating it. Photographer Amos Nachoum, who took the picture in Antarctica, won around 900 euros in prize money.

Leopard seal hunts Gentoo penguin.
Photo: Amos Nachoum

Emergency surgery for baby monkeys

This heartbreaking shot of a baby monkey lying on an operating table won the Photojournalism category. Photographer Alain Schroeder shows the three-month-old orangutan girl Brenda, who was found in Indonesia and had to undergo emergency surgery. Numerous helpers hold her hands to calm her down.

Baby orangutan undergoing surgery.
Photo: Alain Schroeder

A whale in New York City

Photographer Matthijs Noome had been waiting for this photo for a long time. The fin of a humpback whale in front of the New York skyline is a pretty rare sight. However, animal protection measures seem to be slowly having an effect: the giant marine mammals are appearing more and more frequently around the metropolis.

Humpback whale off New York.
Photo: Matthijs Noome

If you also want to take part in the “World Nature Photography Awards” and want to submit your pictures, you can already register here for the next round . The participation fee is around 30 euros. The winners will be announced in February 2023.

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