WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Behaviour: Mammals

Marco Urso, Italy


The anticipation of the brown bear cubs was palpable as their mother fished in Lake Kuril. As soon as she emerged grasping a plump sockeye salmon, they ran towards her, eager to claim their supper. As Marco took the photograph, the mother glanced towards him, her look of maternal protection clear to see.

The bright colour of this fish shows us that it is breeding season in Lake Kuril, which plays host to one of the largest salmon-spawning events in the world. These bears are mostly vegetarian, but they will take advantage of the well-stocked lake before moving on.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D X; 500mm f4 lens; 1/1250 sec at f6.3; ISO 800; Photoseiki tripod.

Lake Kuril, Kamchatka, Russia: latitude 51.449993, longitude 157.12 Lake Kuril, Kamchatka, Russia: latitude 51.449993, longitude 157.12

Lake Kuril, Kamchatka, Russia

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Marco Urso

Marco Urso, Italy

Marco is a wildlife and travel photographer whose work has been exhibited in Washington, San Francisco, London, Cologne, Singapore, St Petersburg, Moscow, Dublin and Tokyo. His writing and images are published in magazines such as Oasis, Natura, Asferico, Image and GO Nordic. He is the founder and director of the Academy of Photography, which offers photo workshops and courses.