20 Of The Best Wildlife Pics From 2017 National Geographic Travel Photographer Of The Year Contest

This year's National Geographic Magazine's prestigious Travel Photographer of the Year Contest has attracted some of the best photographers out there. The entry period for the contest has ended, and the winners will be announced in early August. To make the waiting a little bit easier, the magazine picked out their favorite entries, and the ones from the nature category are simply stunning. In the list below, we've selected the most breathtaking pics including animals - have a look!

#1. Bear About To Catch Salmon In Mouth

Bear about to catch salmon in mouth

Every July, a million salmon swim upstream to reach their spawning grounds on the Brooks River in Alaska, and dozens of brown bears try to stop them! Here we see a bear with shaggy, brown fur about to catch a salmon in her mouth at the top of Brooks Falls. The fish is only a few inches away from her gaping jaws. (Photo and caption by Sandra M.)

#2. The March

Pride of lions walking through the tall grass

On safari in Zambia, the grass was so tall that it seemed there was no chance to see anything interesting. Then this pride of lions came walking toward us, taking advantage of the road to travel on. They too, seemed they were tired of the tall grass swatting at their faces! (Photo And Caption By Torie Hilley)

#3. Mother And Cub

Polar bear mother with her cub

I saw a polar bear mother and her newborn cubs in Wapusk National Park, Canada in March 2016. The -35F degree windy weather became even more challenging after sleet coated my camera, lens, and other gear in a solid layer of ice. Luckily, after several days of waiting, the mother cub finally emerged from her den with two three-month old cubs. I made this photo while the mother patiently waited as one cub carefully teetered towards her on icy ground covered in a layer of freshly fallen snow. (Photo and caption by Baoting (Bob) Chen)

#4. Crocodiles At Rio Tarcoles

Crocodiles

This image was captured in Costa Rica when I was travelling from Monteverde to Playa Hermosa. As you cross over this river, you can stop and peer over the edge of the bridge. Below, reside over 35 gigantic crocodiles, relaxing on the muddy banks of the river. I wanted to capture the stark difference between the crocodiles on land and in the water. In the murky waters, the body contours of these beasts remain hidden, and one can only truly see their girth as they emerge from the river. (Photo and caption by Tarun Sinha)

#5. Jump

Baby monkey holds tight on to his mother while they are about to jump across the hit spring

This was taken from Jigokudani Monkey Park, Nagano, Japan in the winter. This shows a baby monkey jumping on to his mother's back holding tight. They are about to jump across the hot spring. (Photo and caption by XUEHAI LU)

#6. Giraffe Water Play

Giraffe playing with water

On our way back to camp for the evening. Came across this one drinking. As luck would have it, on my second shot she started to lift her head and shake it. (Photo and caption by Andrew D.)

#7. Lunch time

Turtle feeding on coral

Corals are a real delicacy for turtles. During the meal, they stop paying attention to what is happening around them. They are actively working flippers and bill to tear off pieces of coral. (Photo and caption by Andrey Narchuk)

#8. Count Down

Photo and caption by Thomas Vijayan

#9. Food Express

Hoopoe feeding the nestlings.

Hoopoe feeding the nestlings. (Photo and caption by Peter Racz)

#10. Wandering Curiosities

Stags wandering in snow

These 8 stags were wandering on the huge snowy field in Hokkaido Japan. When my drone was aproching them, they stopped wandering and then looked up to the unfamiliar flying object with their curiosities. I like 8 stags' arrangement, silhouettes and shadows. (Photo And Caption By Hidetoshi Kikuchi)

#11. Osprey Verses Trout

Osprey catches a trout

I watched this Osprey catch the fish while on the fishing dock at Lake Jennings, California. He turned and flew right towards me. The fish was so heavy that he didn’t gain much altitude and when he flew right over my head, I grabbed to photo. (Photo and caption by Tom Applegate)

#12. Whale Shark Emerged In Anchovies

Whale shark emerged in anchovies

A whale shark swims along with a school of anchovies near the coast of Mafia Island, Tanzania. Both the shark and anchovies feed on the same prey, sergestid shrimps. This is why they are often seen together like this. It was amazig seeing these fish swim together in unison. (via Photo and caption by Steve De Neef)

#13. Leave It To Me

Sea eagles fighting for food

Steller's sea eagles were fighting for food in Hokkaido Japan during the winter time. (Photo and caption by Nick Wei)

#14. Salmons Donut

Salmons form a donut in the water

Salmons migration in Western Australia, Margaret River. Shot was taken from an helicopter with my canon 1200d. (Photo and caption by Sandra M.)

#15. Happy Family

Yellow goby mommy and daddy looking after their eggs

Yellow goby mommy and daddy looking after their eggs. (Photo and caption by Vania Kam)

#16. The One That Got Away

Zebra escapes from lions

A zebra makes a frantic dash across a watering hole pursued by young, inexperienced lions. The trio of siblings, a lioness and two lions were hiding at the watering hole as a herb of zebras approached unaware. One of the male lions could not wait and charged too early, allowing the zebras the escape. This image was taken when the zebra closest to the lions and the obvious target, bolted across the lake, with the bemused lioness in the background. (Photo and caption by Zhayynn James)

#17. Red Fox Vs White-Tailed Eagle

White tailed eagle challenging a red fox

The fox intercepted the prey of the giant eagle. White-tailed eagle that does not allow it A fox that is surprised by a huge white-tailed eagle It was a momentary event, but I managed to shut it off. (Photo and caption by K. Sato)

#18. Wild Eyes

Male lion crossing a forest

We encountered this male lion on a morning in South Luangwa, Zambia. The light was amazing. Then the lion decided to cross a forest looking up to some baboons on the trees with an amazing light just on its face. (Photo and caption by Chris Schmid)

#19. Colony

King Penguins, Elephant seals and fur seal at Golder Harbour, South Georgia Island

King Penguins, Elephant seals and fur seal at Golder Harbour, South Georgia Island. (

#20. Yellow Eyes

Baboon baby with its mother

At Nakuru Lake, we had to stop our vehicle when a family of Baboons were sitting in the middle of the road. I noticed one of the baboons was not moving, and was giving her back to us. After getting closer we noticed that she was holding her baby and was trying to protect it from us. After giving them sometime the mom safely put her child and herself out of the road. (Photo and caption by Diego Cacho)

Source: nationalgeographic.com

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