A spectacular image of a snow leopard gazing out across mountains in India has been voted the winner of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award.
A record 60,466 nature people voted, and German photographer Sascha Fonseca’s “World of the snow leopard” emerged as the firm favorite in the prestigious competition.
Fonseca used a camera trap to capture the image of the rarely sighted big cat at sunset, with a backdrop of mountains in Ladakh, northern India.
The image was selected from a shortlist of 25 that were chosen by London’s Natural History Museum from nearly 39,000 entries.
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It will now be displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the museum until July 2.
There are estimated to be just 6,500 adult snow leopards living in the wild today, and their existence is threatened by poaching, habitat loss and conflict with humans.
Thanking everyone who voted for his picture, Fonseca said in a statement issued by the museum: “Photography can connect people to wildlife and encourage them to appreciate the beauty of the unseen natural world. I believe that a greater understanding of wildlife leads to deeper caring which hopefully results in active support and greater public interest for conservation.”