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Grand prize of World Nature Photographer of the Year goes to Amos Nachoum for breath-taking image of a leopard seal

The World Nature Photography Awards (WNPAs) have announced their winners from a pool of entries that were received from all corners of the globe. The top award and cash prize of $1000 went to Amos Nachoum from the United States for his image of a leopard seal about to capture a defenceless Gentoo penguin. Nachoum waited patiently for hours on the remote island of Plano, off the Antarctic Peninsula, for the right moment at low tide, when the seals stealthily enter a lagoon and search for their prey.

© Amos Nachoum



For hours, I waited for the low tide to arrive along a shallow lagoon on a remote island off the Antarctic Peninsula. Like clockwork, the leopard seal arrived in the lagoon just before low tide. It put its head in the water and looked just like a rock sitting in the receding water. The young Gentoo penguins only dare to enter the water when it is shallow and when they got close enough to the seal, it turned its head at lightning speed, catching one of the penguins by its feet and taking it to deep water. Once the seal reached open water, I followed it and swam parallel to it, observing its actions. To my surprise, it let go of the penguin twice. Each time, the seal chased after the penguin again, as if it was enjoying the game. The terrified penguin tried to escape as the game continued. But soon, the end came.

Adrian Dinsdale, co-founder of the WNPAs, said: “As always, it’s such a thrill to see the amazing calibre of entries into the awards. Seeing these images cannot fail to motivate one to do everything to protect this fragile planet of ours. We offer our heartfelt congratulations to all the winners.” Upon announcing the winners of the 2021 competition, the team also officially opened call for entries for this year. Early Bird rates are available until 31st March, 2022. To enter, simply go to

The World Nature Photography Awards were founded in the belief that we can all make small efforts to shape the future of our planet in a positive way and that photography can influence people to see the world from a different perspective and change their own habits for the good of the planet. 2021’s competition saw entries come in from 20 countries across 6 continents.

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