WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2010

Gerald Durrell Award for Endangered Species

Tony Wu, United States of America

Giant encounter

Scar, a ten-year-old sperm whale, loves playing with people as much as he does with the other sperm whales in his group. Injured as a calf off Dominica, where he was born, possibly by a pod of pilot whales, he has since bonded with people and invites contact. Scar came right up to Tony when he was snorkelling, resulting in an unusual perspective of the world's largest predator. His massive head is a third of his body length, and he may well grow to be up to 18 metres (59 feet) long. Says Tony, 'It's a bit unnerving when you're in the water and a nearly full-grown whale charges at you at high speed - and you're not 100 per cent sure it's Scar.'

Technical specification

Canon 5D Mark II + 17-40mm f4 lens; 1/200 sec at f7.1; ISO 200; Zillion housing; Pro One optical dome port.

Off the Dominica Coast, Caribbean Sea: latitude 15.3892, longitude -61.4792 Off the Dominica Coast, Caribbean Sea: latitude 15.3892, longitude -61.4792

Off the Dominica Coast, Caribbean Sea

Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Sign up to receive emails from the Natural History Museum about events and exhibitions, including Wildlife Photographer of the Year.

Tony Wu, United States of America

Since 1995, Tony has been combining his love of visual art with his interest in the marine world through underwater photography. He now focuses on photographing cetaceans and documenting spawning aggregations of fish. Tony uses his photographs and writing to encourage others to appreciate and protect the beauty of the oceans. He is also a frequent public speaker.

  • Looking for Love
  • Giant gathering
  • The big four
  • Snapper party