Animals

Climbing Orangutan Snares Top Wildlife Photo Prize

A mourning owl, an urban leopard, and a bird serving an eviction notice are also among the top pictures receiving accolades in the London Natural History Museum's annual competition.

Winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition for 2016 have been announced at London's Natural History Museum. Competing with more than 50,000 entries from 95 countries, American photographer Tim Laman took top honors. He snared Photographer of the Year for this shot of a critically endangered Bornean orangutan climbing high above the Indonesian rainforest of the Gunung Palung National Park, one of the few protected orangutan locations in Indonesian Borneo.


Laman spent three days climbing up and down the tree by rope to place a series of GoPro cameras that would motion-activate to get him the picture he had in mind.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London. Ninety-nine images from the contest will go on display at the museum beginning October 21. Afterward, they will be shown on a tour across the UK and internationally to locations such as Spain, Canada, the United States, Germany and Macau.


Credit: Tim Laman/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

UK teenager Gideon Knight, just 16, won Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year for this image he titled "The moon and the crow." Credit: Gideon Knight/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

For black and white photography, Sweden's Mats Andersson was awarded top prize for this haunting image of a pygmy owl, taken soon after its mate had died. Yet more haunting, this owl, likely the victim of a turf dispute with a larger owl, would soon be dead as well, Andersson said in a statement. Credit Mats Andersson/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Ganesh Shankar, from India, won in the Birds competition for "Eviction Attempt," in which an Indian rose-ringed parakeet tries to rid its nesting hole of an unwelcome new squatter: a Bengal monitor lizard. Credit: Ganesh Shankar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Nayan Khanolkar is also from India and won in the Urban category. It took four months to get the shot he wanted, but Khanolkar was able to capture this leopard in the Aarey Milk Colony in a suburb of Mumbai. The big cats slip into the area at night in search of food and are an accepted part of the lives of the Warli people who live in the area. Credit: Nayan Khanolkar/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

American Tony Wu won underwater photo honors for his "Snapper Party," showing thousands of two-spot red snappers assembling off Palau in the western Pacific to spawn. It's aquatic chaos, as fish fly through the water, filling it with sperm and eggs that cloud the water. Credit: Tony Wu/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Luis Javier Sandoval's winner in the Impressions category caught this California sea lion as it was grabbing a starfish, which it did its playful best to throw toward Sandoval. "I love the way sea lions interact with divers and how smart they are," said Sandoval. Credit: Luis Javier Sandoval/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Italian Valter Binotto's picture of a hazel tree shedding pollen in the wind was awarded top prize in the Plants ant Fungi category. Credit: Valter Binotto/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The Wildlife Photojournalist Single Image award was handed to Paul Hilton for this harrowing image of some 4,000 pangolins defrosting following one of the largest animal-trafficking seizures in the animal's history. They were bound for China and Vietnam, to be sold there either for meat or traditional medicine (their scales are imagined to treat a variety of ailments). These Sunda pangolins were seized from a container and were hidden beneath a facade of frozen fish. "Wildlife crime is big business," said Hilton. "It will stop only when the demand stops." Credit: Paul Hilton/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

German Rudi Sebastian's "The Sand Canvas" took the Details prize for its depiction of transient lagoons formed on a white beach after the rainy season in Brazil's Lençóis Maranhenses National Park. Taken from directly overhead in a small airplane, bacteria and algae can be seen tinting the water blue-green, while elsewhere sediment tints it shades of brown. Some of the lagoons reached nearly 300 feet (91 meters) long. Credit: Rudi Sebastian/Wildlife Photographer of the Year