A picture of two mice fighting over food on a deserted London Underground station platform has won the LUMIX People’s Choice award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
Station Squabble was chosen by the public from a shortlist of 25 images that included jaguars attacking an anaconda, reindeer hidden by snow and an orphaned black rhino and its ranger “mother”.
More than 48,000 images were entered in last year’s competition, with around 28,000 people voting for the mice from a shortlist chosen by the Natural History Museum, which runs the event.
Sam Rowley, from Bristol, who snapped the testy rodents scrapping over a scrap of food, said he was “over the moon” with “the highlight of my career so far.
Speaking to Sky News, he said: “I spent a week down in the tunnels – coming up to the surface for air now and again.
“I wanted to capture the desperation of life down there – and the mice fighting over the merest morsel of food showed that.”
Mr Rowley had to be quick to get the award-winning shot as the battle lasted for just a second before one of the combatants grabbed a crumb and sped off.
Among the competition was Michel Zoghzoghi’s Matching Outfits, showing a mother jaguar and her cub working together as a team, carrying a slain anaconda with patterns very similar to their own.
Also included were Martin Buzora’s touching image of ranger’s bond with an orphaned black rhino and Francis De Andres’ herd of white arctic reindeer camouflaged against a snowy landscape.
An upsetting shot of a boxing glove-clad orangutan sitting in the ring shows the degrading performances animals have been forced to take part in at Safari World, Bangkok.
The pictures are chosen from those that didn’t quite win the competition’s top prizes in October, but were great nonetheless.
Mr Rowley’s entry will be displayed in at the museum’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition until it closes on 31 May.