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Picture Of Mice Fighting At London Underground Up For Wildlife Photo Of The Year

Jake Massey

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Picture Of Mice Fighting At London Underground Up For Wildlife Photo Of The Year

Featured Image Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Sam Rowley

Anyone who has used the Tube in London will know it can be a painful experience, what with the screeching rail tracks and the stinky armpits in your personal space; and it seems the stress can get the better of mice too.

Sam Rowley had to get down low to capture the snap. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Sam Rowley
Sam Rowley had to get down low to capture the snap. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Sam Rowley

A picture of two mice engaged in a scuffle at an Underground station in the capital has been shortlisted for the National History Museum's Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice Award.

The action shot - named Station Squabble - was snapped by Sam Rowley and is one of 25 photos shortlisted for the award.

If you're wondering how Mr Rowley captured the mousey melee, here's the explanation offered on the Natural History Museum website: "Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London's Underground was to lie on the platform and wait.

"He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways."

While the picture is undeniably brilliant, it is one of many great candidates up for the award. Other notable contenders include a polar bear playing with her cubs in Canada, a saucy leopard lounging on its side in Kenya and a bunch of near invisible reindeer in the snow in Norway.

This one's called 'What a Poser', quite aptly. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Clement Mwangi
This one's called 'What a Poser', quite aptly. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Clement Mwangi

You can pick your favourite of the bunch here, with votes closing at 2pm on Tuesday 4 February.

There's a load of reindeer in this picture, if you couldn't tell. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Francis De Andres
There's a load of reindeer in this picture, if you couldn't tell. Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Francis De Andres

In October, a picture of a Tibetan fox and a Himalayan marmot, locked in a dramatic yet amusing standoff, earned Yongqing Bao the coveted Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.

Bao - who was born and raised in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau area in China - captured the rare shot after staking out an alpine meadow for several hours. Eventually though he got the ultimate reward, capturing the precise moment in which a female fox pounced on an unsuspecting marmot in a bid to feed her three cubs.

Bao named the shot The Moment - presumably concluding it was a little more concise and artistic than The Moment a Tibetan Fox Scares The S*** Out of a Marmot.

Strange that a life and death moment can be oddly amusing, isn't it? Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Yongqing Bao
Strange that a life and death moment can be oddly amusing, isn't it? Credit: Wildlife Photographer of the Year/Yongqing Bao

Chair of the judging panel, Roz Kidman Cox, described the winning picture as 'extraordinary'.

She said: "Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment. The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance.

"Images from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau are rare enough, but to have captured such a powerful interaction between a Tibetan fox and a marmot - two species key to the ecology of this high-grassland region - is extraordinary."

Topics: uk news, Animals

Jake Massey
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