HomePhotographyNima Sarikhani's 'Ice Bed' Wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 People's...

Nima Sarikhani’s ‘Ice Bed’ Wins Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 People’s Choice Award

Discover Nima Sarikhani’s award-winning ‘Ice Bed’ photograph, capturing the beauty and fragility of polar bears in the Arctic. Learn about the impact of climate change on their habitat and the importance of conservation efforts for their survival.
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Nima Sarikhani Capturing the Majesty of the Arctic

Nima Sarikhani’s stunning photograph titled ‘Ice Bed’ has emerged victorious in the 2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 People’s Choice Award, garnering accolades from a record 75,000 voters. The image portrays a male polar bear in a serene slumber atop a small iceberg off the Svalbard archipelago. Sarikhani’s three-day expedition aboard a vessel was initially hindered by thick fog, but fortune smiled upon him when he encountered a pair of polar bears, one of which settled down for a rest on the ice under the midnight sun.

Polar Bears and Their Changing Habitat

Svalbard, nestled in the Arctic Ocean, is home to one of the world’s 19 populations of polar bears, estimated at around 3,000 bears in the Barents Sea region. These majestic creatures rely heavily on sea ice as a hunting platform for prey like seals and walruses. However, the rapid warming of the region, with Svalbard experiencing a temperature increase of 3-5⁰C since the 1970s, has led to a significant loss of sea ice. This loss not only impacts the bears’ ability to hunt but also affects other aspects of their lifestyle, such as denning habits and genetic diversity.

Adapting to a Changing Environment

With dwindling sea ice, polar bears in Svalbard are spending more time on land, altering their dietary habits. While seals remain a primary food source, there is evidence of increased consumption of bird eggs and occasional hunting of reindeer. Despite these adaptations, the long-term survival of polar bears in Svalbard is uncertain as they face continued habitat loss and challenges in their traditional hunting methods.

A Call to Action for Conservation

Nima Sarikhani’s award-winning photograph serves as a poignant reminder of the fragile relationship between polar bears and their rapidly changing habitat. Dr. Douglas Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, emphasizes the importance of such images in highlighting the beauty and vulnerability of our planet. As climate change continues to threaten ecosystems worldwide, conservation efforts become increasingly crucial to safeguarding the future of species like the polar bear.

Celebrating Nature’s Beauty

The Wildlife Photographer of the Year 59 exhibition showcases not only Sarikhani’s captivating image but also other remarkable entries that celebrate the wonders of the natural world. From Tzahi Finkelstein’s ‘The Happy Turtle’ to Daniel Dencescu’s ‘Starling Murmuration,’ these photographs offer glimpses into the diversity and magnificence of life on Earth. Visitors can immerse themselves in these visual narratives at the exhibition in South Kensington until June 30, 2024.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: GERALD HINDE                                  Copyright: National History Museum

Curious Lion Cub Explores its World in South Africa’s Kruger National Park

In the sprawling expanse of South Africa’s Greater Kruger National Park, a scene of curiosity unfolds as a lion cub boldly approaches a photographer, while under the vigilant gaze of its mother. From the safety of his vehicle parked in the riverbed, Gerald observes as the cub ventures closer, captivated by the unfamiliar presence. With his camera poised at ground level, Gerald captures the cub’s inquisitive strides, offering a unique perspective of its activities. Despite their playful nature, lion cubs face numerous threats in the wild, necessitating the protective embrace of their pride. As guardians stand watch, the cub’s journey of exploration unfolds against the backdrop of the African wilderness, a testament to the enduring bond of family within the pride.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: KARIM ILIYA                                      Copyright: National History Museum

Humpback Whale Calf’s Missed Sip of Milk Captured in French Polynesia’s Waters

In a rare and poignant moment off the coast of Rurutu, French Polynesia, a humpback whale calf is depicted missing some of its mother’s precious milk, as it drifts and swirls in the gentle currents of the ocean. Karim, a seasoned documenter of humpback whales, recounts this extraordinary sight, which he has witnessed only twice in his seven years of observation. With no lips to aid them, humpback whale calves can occasionally be clumsy in their feeding, leading to such unusual occurrences. Amidst the vast expanse of the ocean, Karim captures the fleeting strands of milk as they dance in the water, a testament to the delicate balance of life beneath the waves.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: OFER LEVY                                        Copyright: National History Museum

Battle for Territory

In the tidal flats of Roebuck Bay, Australia, a dramatic confrontation unfolds as a mudskipper fiercely defends its territory against a trespassing crab. Mudskippers, known for their territorial nature, meticulously construct mud walls around their feeding and breeding grounds. In this encounter, the crab’s intrusion prompts an assertive response from the mudskipper, which opens its mouth and raises its dorsal fin in a threatening display. Ofer, a keen observer, witnesses the ongoing standoff between the two creatures, with the mudskipper persistently initiating the clashes in a bid to safeguard its domain.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: MARK BOYD                                      Copyright: National History Museum

Tender Morning Ritual

In the tranquil landscapes of Kenya’s Maasai Mara, Mark bears witness to a heartwarming scene as lionesses tenderly groom one of the pride’s five cubs in the early hours of the morning. The previous evening, the lionesses embarked on a hunting expedition, leaving the cubs concealed amidst dense foliage for safety. Upon their return, having met with no success, they summoned the cubs to join them on the open grasslands. In a touching display of communal care, the lionesses nurture and raise each other’s offspring as their own, sharing the responsibilities of parenthood. Amidst this serene moment, the young cub revels in the affection and attention bestowed upon it by its nurturing pride members.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: DANIEL DENCESCU                            Copyright: National History Museum

Nature’s Aerial Ballet

Entranced by the mesmerizing ballet of starlings painting the sky with their graceful movements, Daniel finds himself spellbound by the avian spectacle unfolding above.

Day after day, as the sun begins its descent, these elegant creatures return from their foraging expeditions, converging in vast numbers to perform their breathtaking aerial displays, known as murmurations, en route to their communal roosts.

Driven by his passion for capturing the essence of this natural phenomenon, Daniel dedicates countless hours to tracing the starlings’ flight paths across the urban landscape of Rome, seeking out the perfect vantage points for his lens.

Then, on a crisp, cloudless winter’s day, his patience is rewarded as the starlings unite in a choreographed dance, swirling and morphing into the shape of a majestic giant bird, leaving Daniel in awe of nature’s boundless beauty.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: Audun Rikardsen.                               Copyright: National History Museum

Celestial Dance of Moon Jellyfish

Beneath the mesmerizing glow of the aurora borealis, hundreds of moon jellyfish congregate in the crisp autumnal waters of northern Norway, creating an enchanting spectacle.

Equipped with ingenuity and determination, Adun shields his gear in custom waterproof housing, poised to capture the ethereal scene. Employing a unique system, he orchestrates a single exposure while adjusting focus and aperture mid-shot, skillfully illuminating the jellyfish with bursts of light.

As the celestial hues reflect upon the water’s surface, Adun’s meticulous technique unveils a harmonious dance between the luminous jellyfish and the celestial phenomenon, weaving a tapestry of natural wonder beneath the northern skies.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: Ayala-Fishaimer                                 Copyright: National History Museum

Playful Encounters in the Judean Foothills

Embarking on a journey to the picturesque Judean Foothills in Israel, Ayala arrives at the red fox den after an hour-long drive, parking at a safe distance before patiently awaiting the denizens’ emergence.

In a scene straight out of nature’s playbook, four lively fox cubs soon grace the landscape, their playful antics painting a vivid picture against the backdrop of the wilderness.

Captivated by the cub’s playful diversion, Ayala observes as it loses interest in its siblings, entranced instead by a shrew traversing the sandy terrain.

With the agility of youth, the cub engages in a spirited game of cat and mouse, or rather, fox and shrew, playfully batting the hapless creature around like a ball before flinging it into the air. In a fleeting moment frozen in time, Ayala captures the poignant gaze shared between predator and prey, a timeless reminder of the delicate balance between life and survival in the wild.

Nima Sarikhani
Image Credit: Tzahi Finkelstein                                Copyright: National History Museum

Serendipitous Harmony in the Swamp

In a surprising moment of tranquility amid the murky waters of a swamp, a dragonfly alights gracefully upon the nose of a Balkan Pond turtle, forging an unexpected bond of coexistence.

Initially immersed in photographing shore birds in Israel’s Jezreel Valley, Tzahi’s attention shifts abruptly as a northern banded groundling dragonfly flits into view, drawing his gaze towards the unassuming turtle wading in the shallows.

As the dragonfly and turtle converge in a chance encounter, Tzahi captures the remarkable scene, witnessing not a predator-prey interaction but a harmonious exchange between two creatures in the heart of nature’s sanctuary.

In this fleeting moment, amidst the serenity of the swamp, the turtle appears to revel in the unexpected companionship, refraining from snapping at its visitor, as they share a tranquil interlude in the rhythm of life’s dance.


  • Geekay Dutta

    Welcome to my world! I'm Goutam Kumar Dutta, the brains behind this platform. As an author and the proud owner of this site, I'm on a mission to bring you the latest and most intriguing sports news from various genres. But it's not just about sports - entertainment in all its forms also captivates my interest. Whether it's analyzing the latest match or delving into the world of entertainment, I strive to provide comprehensive coverage and valuable insights.

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