The image of an excited grey langur monkey swinging from the tails of its friends has scooped the public’s choice from the Wildlife Photographer of the Year award.
The picture, taken by amateur photographer Thomas Vijayan, won the national contest’s people’s choice award after attracting more than half of the public vote.
Although his favourite subjects are usually big cats, Mr Vijayan, from Canada, said he could not resist the opportunity to take the snap at the end of a day’s safari in the Bandipur National Park in Karnataka, south west India.
He said: “I saw a few langurs playing on a tree, and it struck me that there was a chance for a good photograph. While everyone else was waiting for the tigers, I came back with this mesmerising moment.”
A healthcare professional by trade, Mr Vijayan was born in Kerala and grew up in Bangalore before moving to Canada. His website, thomasvijayan.com, shares photos from his various expeditions photographing a range of big cats and exotic birds in the wild.
Titled A Swinging Time, his award-winning image was one of 42,000 competition entries from almost 100 countries. Only 25 were short-listed and almost 20,000 nature photography lovers voted for the award.
Other finalists included Joel Brunet’s bird-inspired Berries For The Fieldfares, Anup Deodhar’s striking Warrior Of The Grassland reptile, and two penguin-based photos, including Linc Gasking’s A Mother’s Courage, and Dario Podesta’s Black And White.
The full Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, showcasing a portfolio of 100 selected entries is open at London’s Natural History Museum until April 10. Entry to the 2016 competition is now open and can be applied for at: wildlifephotographeroftheyear.com.