A glimpse at some of the best images from this year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest

Posted on : 02 Sep 2020

It's that time of the year again: when the Natural History Museum of London gives us a sneak peek at some of the Highly Commended images from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. From a mud-slathered hippo to a duo of foxes duelling over a meal, this year's crop of photos does not disappoint.

Eye of the drought
Highly Commended 2020, Animal Portraits

An eye blinks open in the mud pool as a hippopotamus emerges to take a breath–one every three to five minutes. The challenge for Jose, watching in his vehicle, was to catch the moment an eye opened. For several years, Jose has been watching hippos in Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve –here in a remnant of the drought-stricken Mara River. Hippos spend the day submerged to keep their temperature constant and their sensitive skin out of the sun, and at night they emerge to graze on the floodplains. Throughout their sub-Saharan African range, hippos are vulnerable to the combined effects of increasing water extraction and climate change. They are vital grassland and aquatic ecosystem engineers, and their dung provides important nutrients for fish, algae and insects. But when rivers run dry, a concentration of dung depletes the oxygen and kills the aquatic life. Jose Fragozo/Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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