In a stunning display of nature's serene beauty, an image titled "Ice Bed" has earned the prestigious Wildlife Photographer of the Year People's Choice Award. The photograph, which beautifully depicts a polar bear resting on a slab of sea ice, was taken by British amateur photographer Nima Sarikhani.
The competition, hosted by London's Natural History Museum, had 49,957 submissions from talented photographers across 95 countries. Despite the fierce competition, it was Sarikhani's "Ice Bed" that stood out among the 25 finalists, garnering over 75,000 votes from the public, who were captivated by the peaceful scene.
"Sarikhani's breathtaking and poignant image allows us to see the beauty and fragility of our planet," Natural History Museum director Dr Douglas Gurr told the BBC.
"His thought-provoking image is a stark reminder of the integral bond between an animal and its habitat and serves as a visual representation of the detrimental impacts of climate warming and habitat loss,” he added.
Sarikhani's accomplishment is particularly noteworthy as he is an amateur in the field. Four other finalists who made it to the final list were, "The Happy Turtle" by Tzahi Finkelstein, "Starling Murmuration" by Daniel Dencescu, "Shared Parenting" by Mark Boyd, and "Aurora Jellies" by Audun Rikardsen.