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Napping polar bear on iceberg clinches wildlife photography prize

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Captivating snapshot titled “Ice Bed,” was taken off Norway’s Svalbard archipelago

A polar bear naps on a small ice bed off Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. — Nima Sarikhani/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

An image featuring a tranquil polar bear taking a nap on an iceberg has secured the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award. 

British amateur photographer Nima Sarikhani expressed his honour in winning with the captivating snapshot titled “Ice Bed,” taken off Norway’s Svalbard archipelago. 

Sarikhani shared that the image evoked powerful emotions, particularly hope, among viewers. In a press release, he conveyed, “Whilst climate change is the biggest challenge we face, I hope that this photograph also inspires hope; there is still time to fix the mess we have caused.”

The competition witnessed unprecedented participation, with over 75,000 people casting their votes. “Ice Bed” emerged triumphant from a shortlist of 25 images, carefully chosen from a pool of approximately 50,000 entries. The Natural History Museum, London, is the driving force behind the Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Douglas Gurr, the director of the Natural History Museum, hailed the winning photograph as “poignant” and “breathtaking.” 

He emphasised its significance as a thought-provoking reminder of the vital connection between an animal and its habitat, serving as a visual representation of the detrimental impacts of climate warming and habitat loss. 

The winning image and four highly commended finalists will be showcased at the Natural History Museum in London until June 30.



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