London Zoological Society announces winner of the ZSL Animal Photography Prize

A picture of a fan-throated lizard has been announced as the winner of the Zoological Society of London’s fifth annual Animal Photograpy Prize.

The beguiling snap took photographer Pratik Pradhan three years to capture in India’s southern Chalkewadi plateau.

Pradhan said: “I observed this male who repeatedly took the same path while scanning his territory and checking out all of the females.

“It was not easy to maintain a sharp focus on the lizard running towards me while keeping it at eye level – it took me three years to capture this image the way I wanted.

“They have a thin flap of skin called a gular appendage, between their throat and their abdomen, which they can flap and flash at will – normally these are whitish or creamish in colour, but what’s interesting is that during the breeding season the males develop a wonderful coloration ranging from blue to black to red and orange.”

Other recognised entries included Alexander Holden’s Flash of Azure, capturing a kingfisher securing dinner, and runner up Mike Reyfman whose striking image of a lone adult King Penguin among scores of infants caught the eye of judges in the Weird and Wonderful category.

After poring through nearly 3,000 entries from across the world the panel of judges including television presenter Kate Humble, explorer and author Levison Wood and ornithologist Bill Oddie selected an overall winner from six initial categories.

Ozkan Ozmen’s Baby Baboon and Jeremy Cusack’s Catching The Sun also achieved a highly commended status, respectively capturing a monkey standing next to a parked car, and a hippopotamus emerging from a sun-drenched pool.

ZSL began its photography competition in 2012 with the aim of seeking images which challenge the viewers perception of and relationship with the natural world and its inhabitants.

The Society’s Director General Ralph Armond said: “Pratik’s image shows a true dedication to celebrating the unique beauty of the natural world. With the world’s wildlife populations having halved in the last 40 years, the need to raise awareness of and celebrate the wonders of the animal kingdom has never been more vital.

“The ZSL Animal Photography Prize encourages photographers to capture the very essence of the animal kingdom and all its beauty, and the diversity of wildlife portrayed in the entries we’ve received has been so inspiring.”

More in this Section

'We regret it but we respect it' - EU's incoming president on Brexit'We regret it but we respect it' - EU's incoming president on Brexit

Clear glass solar panels ‘could charge mobile phones and electric cars’Clear glass solar panels ‘could charge mobile phones and electric cars’

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years laterApollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Boris Johnson’s team plays down reports he could suspend ParliamentBoris Johnson’s team plays down reports he could suspend Parliament


It's hard to build a reputation in gaming, but it can be even harder to keep one.Game Tech: Dragon Quest Builders sequel builds on first outing

Fretting about doing your holiday shop with the summer sales in full swing? Who needs the hassle?Beach babe: Log on, check out and have a stress-free start to your holiday

Tea dunking is not just for cosy winter evenings. Biscuits are handy in the summer months for picnics or to keep you going on long hikes.Michelle Darmody's tricks for perfect home made biscuits

Apply sunscreen throughout the day, says Helen O’CallaghanBurning issue: Children's skin needs added protection from the sun

More From The Irish Examiner