Where the wild things are

The British Gas Wildlife Photography of the Year competition is the world's most prestigious. This year the winner was Cherry Alexander, from Dorset, with her stunning Blue Iceberg, Antarctica (below). She faced fierce competition from some of the category winners, featured here. See them at London's Natural History Museum

Main picture: 'Florida Manatee' by Brandon D Cole (US), who won the Eric Hosking award. 'In winter, the Florida manatees leave their ocean haunts for warmer, spring-fed waters such as Crystal River on Florida's West Coast. They are very co-operative photographic subjects - slow, trusting and curious. I was concentrating on facial shots of this manatee when I suddenly noticed the view above.'

Right: 'Dawn in Savuti' by Richard Coomber (UK), winner of the From Dusk to Dawn category. 'This is dawn by a waterhole in Savuti, Botswana, at the end of the dry season - it is always a magic time. Elephants, wary of lions, drink as hundreds of turle doves fly in the surrounding bush, and helmeted guinea fowl scurry about raising dust that hangs in the still air.'

Above: 'Female Leopards Fighting' by Richard du Toit (South Africa), winner of the Mammal Behaviour category. 'It only lasted a few seconds. The dominant female suddenly attacked, raking with her hind legs and ripping out pieces of white fur. Her opponent assumed a submissive pose, lying on her back. The fight was extremely fast moving, with savage snarls and growls. We watched them for another hour, as darkness fell over the Mala Mala game reserve, but they stayed at least 10 metres apart.'

The exhibition is on at the Natural History Museum, London SW7 (0171- 938 8714) to 25 February, then tours nationwide

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