Arctic foxes are active creatures always on the move. Capturing one on camera is often a challenging task. However, this cute fox was relaxed and allowed the photographer to get close enough and focus on it. © Marco Gaiotti.

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Wildlife Photographer of the Year: People's Choice 2022

This year's Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice brings together a range of compelling photos, from fiery dances in the snow to tender moments between alpha male lions. Scroll down to enjoy some of the chosen images.

Vote for your favourite image. 

Bonds of Love

Peter Delaney

A baby elephant stands amongs older elephants which are touching it with their trunks.

Peter was photographing a herd of elephants in Addo Elephant National Park, South Africa, when the calf let out a shriek. A bull elephant had just tried to separate the newborn from its mother. The herd reacted instantly by trumpeting loudly, flapping their ears and surrounding the small elephant. They then extended their trunks to reassure it.

Elephant herds are led by a matriarch, the oldest female in the group. The herd consists of other related females and calves, while the males typically live alone or in small groups of bachelors.

A female gives birth to a single calf once every four or five years after carrying it for 22 months - longer than any other mammal. Once a calf is born, it is cared for by the entire herd and may remain in the group its entire life.

Building an Egg Case

Javier Aznar González de Rueda

A large red spider with black legs holds on to a large white perfectly round sphere.

While out walking one night in the Amazon rainforest near Tena, Ecuador, Javier spotted a female thorned heart orb weaver spider delicately constructing an egg case.

Hanging from a single silk thread, these arachnids spend hours carefully constructing a safe cocoon for their eggs. This is often on the underside of a leaf, away from the prying eyes of avian predators.

Each sac contains several hundreds of eggs. Once it's completed, the female dies, leaving her spiderlings to hatch and fend for themselves over winter.

The Ice Bear Cometh…

Andy Skillen

A bear crosses an icy lake on a fallen tree trunk.

Andy knew the exact shot he wanted: a female grizzly bear walking on the fallen log. He waited patiently in the -30 degree cold and was rewarded with just that. The bear's wet fur had frozen into icicles and Andy could hear them tinkle as she padded across.

The photo was taken at the isolated Ni'iinlii Njik (Fishing Branch) River, Yukon, Canada. The nearest town is a two-hour helicopter ride away. Here, the lake never freezes regardless of how cold it gets. This is great for the bears who enjoy a final salmon hunt before hibernation.

Breath of an Arctic Fox

Marco Gaiotti

An Arctic fox sits curled up on ice, back lit by pink light, the foxes breath visible in the air.

This little Arctic fox continuously called out for its playmate, catching Marco's attention. It was late winter in Spitsbergen, Svalbard, Norway, and the temperature had dropped to -35°C Celsius. The fox's wet breath froze quickly, leaving a ghostly trail of steam against a chilly backdrop.

Lake of Ice

Cristiano Vendramin

A number of frost covered tree stick out from a cold, semi-fozen lake, their straggly branched reflected in the water.

Santa Croce is a semi-natural lake located in the province of Belluno, Italy. It was created by a landslide and then expanded artificially.

Cristiano noticed the water was unusually high during the winter of 2019. The willow trees were partially submerged, creating a play of light and reflections.

Cristiano waited for the weather to turn colder before capturing an icy still scene. It reminded him of a dear friend who loved this place but is no longer here.

Hope in a Burned Plantation

Jo-Anne McArthur

A grey kangaroo with a joey in its pouch stands upright, looking directly at the camera. In the background, the burnt trunks of a forest can be seen streching into the distance.

Jo-Anne flew to Australia in early 2020 to document the stories of animals affected by the devastating bushfires sweeping through the states of New South Wales and Victoria.

Working alongside Animals Australia (an animal protection organisation), Jo-Anne was given access to burn sites, rescues and veterinary missions.

This eastern grey kangaroo and her joey pictured near Mallacoota, Victoria, were among the lucky ones. The kangaroo barely took her eyes off Jo-Anne as she walked calmly to the spot where she could get a great photo. Jo-Anne had just enough time to crouch and press the shutter release before the kangaroo hopped away into the burned eucalyptus plantation.


Yung Sen Wu

A view from inside a school of fish, all the bodies lined up looking outwards at the dark blue water.

Yung was drawn to a school of barracudas while diving in the Blue Corner, a barrier reef off the coast of Palau, western Pacific.

He spent four days swimming with the group of fish, attempting to capture them on camera. However, the group changed formation constantly and quickly, and it was a challenge to find the right angle.

On the fifth day, Yung's luck changed. The school seemed to accept him as part of the group. Surrounded by the barracudas, he started to see how one fish saw another. He then knew this was the perspective he wanted to capture.

The fish were fast and Yung had to swim hard to keep his place within the group. But his persistence paid off. After 50 exhausting minutes, Yung managed to take the perfect shot depicting the point of view of a barracuda within its group.

Shelter from the Rain

Ashleigh McCord

Two lions in the middle of a rainstorm, the lion on the right is touching its nose on the forehead of the lion on the left.

Ashleigh captured this tender moment between a pair of male lions during a visit to the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya.

At first, Ashleigh took photos of only one of the lions, when the rain was a light sprinkle. The second lion approached and greeted his companion briefly before walking away.

As the rain turned into a heavy downpour, the second lion returned and sat next to the first, positioning his body as if to shelter him.

Shortly after, they rubbed faces and continued to sit nuzzling for some time. Ashleigh stayed and watched until the rain fell so hard that they were barely visible.

Dancing in the Snow

Qiang Guo

Two flame red and yellow pheasants sit on a treesurrounded by falling white snow.

Qiang watched two male golden pheasants continuously swap places on a tree trunk, their movements akin to a silent dance in the snow.

Golden pheasants are native to China, where they inhabit dense forests in mountainous regions. Although brightly coloured, the birds are shy creatures and difficult to spot. They spend most of their time foraging for food on the dark forest floor, only flying to evade predators or to roost in high trees at night.

Monkey Cuddle

Zhang Qiang

The small face of a baby monkey is just visible among the golden fur of an adult monkey.

Zhang was fascinated by the social dynamics of the Sichuan (or golden) snub-nosed monkey.

Endemic to the threatened Qinling Mountains in China, these social primates usually live in groups of five to 10, but they can reach up to 600 strong.

The young are raised by the mother with the help of other females in the group. When it is time to rest, they huddle for warmth and protection.

Zhang wanted to show the beautiful intimacy that is common within the group. He captured the face of a young nestled between two females, their striking golden orange fur dappled in warm light.