Baby Baboon Clings to Dead Mom in Jaws of Leopard in Heartbreaking Photo

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Baby Baboon Clings to Dead Mom in Jaws of Leopard in Heartbreaking Photo


Baby Baboon Clings to Dead Mom in Jaws of Leopard in Heartbreaking Photo

A heartbreaking photo showing a leopard holding a dead baboon in its jaws—with a baby still clinging on to its deceased mother—is among a number of images in the running for the 2022 Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award.


Members of the public can now vote online for their favorite photo out of 25 images that have been shortlisted.


Voting closes at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday, February 2, 2023, and the winner will be announced on February 9 next year.


The 25 images are on display at the 58th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London.


The exhibition includes 100 photographs that were selected from more than 38,000 entries across 93 countries. It will tour the U.K. before heading to venues across the world, including Texas Tech University and the Detroit Zoological Society in the U.S.


The main competition winners were announced in October.


One of the shortlisted People's Choice images—captured by Spanish photographer Igor Altuna—is titled "Holding On." The image shows a leopardess that had just killed a Kinda baboon in Zambia's South Luangwa National Park.


Kinda baboons are found in parts of Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and possibly western Tanzania. Gold in color, this primate is the smallest baboon species, measuring around 20 inches in length and weighing about 30 pounds as adults.


Altuna spotted a leopard carrying a dead Kinda baboon in its mouth. But remarkably, the photographer also noticed that a baby baboon was clinging onto its mother, still alive.


Unfortunately for the young primate, the leopard took both animals back to her own cub. The young leopard played with the baby baboon for around an hour before killing it.


"The special thing about this photo is how the baby monkey clings to life. It doesn't realize what has happened," Altuna told Newsweek. "I have had a lot of criticism for this photo, but I want people to know that wildlife is often cruel and wonderful—this time it is cruel."


Another shortlisted image shows a dramatic confrontation between two female muskoxen—hoofed ruminant animals in the same family as bison and cattle that are native to the Arctic—in Norway's Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park.


In the image, captured by Spanish photographer Miquel Angel Artús Illana, the muskoxen can be seen engaging in what turned out to be a short but intense fight.


Illana had been following a muskox family for our days in the national park when he came across the scene that he captured on camera.


"The usual thing is to photograph [fights between] muskoxen males, but in this case there are two females that are fighting," Illana told Newsweek. "The fight ended soon because one of them gave up and walked away."


Among the other images is a photo taken by Canadian photographer Martin Gregus that shows a polar bear cub poking its head above a sea of colorful fireweed flowers on the coast of the Hudson Bay in Canada.


The cub was playing among the flowers and would occasionally stand on its hind legs to peer over the plants, looking for its mother.


Gregus had placed the camera among the fireweed and captured the image using a remote trigger, ensuring that he was a safe distance from the bears.


"I think what makes the image unique is the angle and glimpse we get into the world of a polar bear cub," Gregus told Newsweek. "What I tried to do is place the camera at his height to try and understand why the cubs need to stand on their hind legs to see past the flowers."


"I want people to not just see a different side of these bears, but I want them to grow a connection to them," he said. "Each bear truly has a different personality—I think that really shows through in the images."

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