Polar Pas de Deux by Eilo Elvinger, Luxembourg. From her ship anchored off Svalbard, in Arctic Norway, Eilo spotted a polar bear and her two- year-old cub in the distance, slowly drawing closer. Nearing the ship, they were diverted to a patch of snow soaked in leakage from the vessel’s kitchen and began to lick it. “I was ashamed of our contribution to the immaculate landscape,” says Eilo, “and of how this influenced the bears’ behaviour.”
(Also Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Story category)
Memorial to a Species by Brent Stirton, South Africa.The killers were probably from a local community. Entering the Hluhluwe Imfolozi game reserve at night, they shot the black rhino bull using a silencer. Working fast, they hacked off the two horns and escaped. The horns would have been sold to a middleman and smuggled out of South Africa to China or Vietnam.
The Grip of the Gulls by Ekaterina Bee, Italy. Like all her family, five-and-a-half-year-old Ekaterina is fascinated by nature. On a boat trip off the coast of central Norway, her focus was on the cloud of herring gulls. They were after food, and as soon as Ekaterina threw them bread, they surrounded her. She liked the expression of the bird furthest away: ‘It looked very curious, as if it was trying to understand what was happening on the boat.’