Russian photographer Sergey Gorshkov’s picture of an overjoyed tigress embracing an ancient Manchurian fir tree in the remote Siberian forest won him the 2020 wildlife photographer of the year award, The Guardian reported.
It took the photographer 11 months to capture the prize-winning moment through hidden cameras.
Gorshkov was named the 2020 wildlife photographer of the year by the Duchess of Cambridge at a ceremony held at London’s Natural History Museum.
The image was selected from more than 49,000 photographs, with Roz Kidman Cox, the chair of the judging panel, calling the photograph “a unique glimpse of an intimate moment deep in a magical forest”.
The Siberian tiger, also known as an Amur, is said to live in the woodlands of eastern Russia with a small number existing over the border in China and possibly North Korea. The population of the animal is threatened by hunters, poachers and loggers, which has also affected their prey mostly deer and wild boar.
Recent surveys have indicated that greater protection may have resulted in a population of 500 to 600.
Kidman Cox said the photograph told the story ‘of the comeback of the Amur tiger in glorious colour and texture – a symbol of the Russian wilderness’.
“It’s a scene like no other,” she said. “Shafts of low winter sun highlight the ancient fir tree and the coat of the huge tigress as she grips the trunk in obvious ecstasy and inhales the scent of tiger on resin, leaving her own mark as her message,” Cox added.