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The Independent Online
THE WILDLIFE Photographer of the Year award was won last night by Manfred Danneger, a German, for his image entitled "Boxing Hares".

The prestige competition, organised by BBC Wildlife magazine and the Natural History Museum, attracted 20,000 pictures from 60 different countries. The winners were presented with their awards at the museum by Sir David Attenborough.

Mr Danneger took the winning photograph along the edge of Lake Constance in southern Germany. "I saw this female hare fighting off the advances of the courting male as a signal that she was not ready to mate."

Mr Danneger, who shot the picture with a Nikon F4 with a 400mm lens, added: "I have been photographing hares for 20 years, but sadly the hare population in Germany has diminished significantly."

The photograph was described by the judges as a "perfect composition".