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Polar Bear Sleeping on an Iceberg Wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year Award

The image is a poignant reminder of the earth’s fragility and the threats of climate change.

The Natural History Museum has announced the winner of its annual People’s Choice Award for Wildlife Photography. The competition saw over 50,000 entries submitted, which was narrowed down to 25 shortlisted for the top honors.

British photographer Nima Sarikhani made headlines for what’s being hailed as the marquee entry, as she captured a lonely polar bear perched asleep against an iceberg. The image was taken while on a three-day tour of Norway’s Svalbard archipelago, where Sarikhani noted that the photo “stirred strong emotions in many of those who have seen it,” adding that, “Whilst climate change is the biggest challenge we face, I hope that this photograph also inspires hope; there is still time to fix the mess we have caused.”

Entitled Ice Bed, the image was described as “poignant” by the Natural History Museum’s director, Douglas Gurr, adding that it “allows us to see the beauty and fragility of our planet.” Other notable submissions include a turtle smiling as a dragonfly rests on its snout; a flock of birds creating a silhouette of a massive bird as they hover above the streets of Rome and two lionesses caressing its cub in the Kenyan plains.

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