These wildlife photography winners showcase the beauty and cruelty of nature

The wildlife photos have been coming thick and fast lately.

First we had the highly commended entires in the Wildlife Photography of the Year Awards, then we had the Comedy Wildlife Photography of the Year Awards, and this week we had the microscopic entries for the Nikon Small World Photomicography Competition.

Now, we have even more photos from the Wildlife Photography of the Year Awards — and this time it’s the winners.

On Tuesday night, the competition – which is run by London’s Natural History Museum – announced the winning entries across 17 categories, including the overall winner of the entire contest.

Before we dive into the photos, a quick warning: Although many of the entries below showcase nature’s beauty, they also show its more brutal side — and there are two photojournalism winners, right at the bottom, that show animals in captivity.

'The embrace' by Sergey Gorshkov, Russia. Winner of 'Animals in their environment' and overall competition winner.

‘The embrace’ by Sergey Gorshkov, Russia. Winner of ‘Animals in their environment’ and overall competition winner.

'The fox that got the goose' by Liina Heikkinen, Finland. Winner of the 15-16 category, and overall young winner.

‘The fox that got the goose’ by Liina Heikkinen, Finland. Winner of the 15-16 category, and overall young winner.

'Out of the blue' by Gabriel Eisenband, Colombia. Winner of 'Plants and Fungi.'

‘Out of the blue’ by Gabriel Eisenband, Colombia. Winner of ‘Plants and Fungi.’

'Etna's river of fire' by Luciano Gaudenzio, Italy. Winner of 'Earth's Environments.'

‘Etna’s river of fire’ by Luciano Gaudenzio, Italy. Winner of ‘Earth’s Environments.’

'Eleonora's gift' by Alberto Fantoni, Italy. Winner of 'Rising Star Portfolio.'

‘Eleonora’s gift’ by Alberto Fantoni, Italy. Winner of ‘Rising Star Portfolio.’

'A mean mouthful' by Sam Sloss, Italy/USA. Winner of the 11-14 category.

‘A mean mouthful’ by Sam Sloss, Italy/USA. Winner of the 11-14 category.

'Perfect balance' by Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco, Spain. Winner of the 10 years and under category.

‘Perfect balance’ by Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco, Spain. Winner of the 10 years and under category.

Image: Andrés Luis Dominguez Blanco

'The pose' by Mogens Trolle, Denmark. Winner of 'Animal Portraits.'

‘The pose’ by Mogens Trolle, Denmark. Winner of ‘Animal Portraits.’

'When mother says run' by Shanyuan Li, China. Winner of 'Behaviour: Mammals.'

‘When mother says run’ by Shanyuan Li, China. Winner of ‘Behaviour: Mammals.’

'Great crested sunrise' by Jose Luis Ruiz Jiménez, Spain. Winner of 'Behaviour: Birds.'

‘Great crested sunrise’ by Jose Luis Ruiz Jiménez, Spain. Winner of ‘Behaviour: Birds.’

Image: Jose Luis Ruiz Jiménez

'The last bite' by Ripan Biswas, India. Winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award.

‘The last bite’ by Ripan Biswas, India. Winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Portfolio Award.

'Life in the balance' by Jaime Culebras, Spain. Winner of 'Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles.'

‘Life in the balance’ by Jaime Culebras, Spain. Winner of ‘Behaviour: Amphibians and Reptiles.’

'A tale of two wasps' by Frank Deschandol, France. Winner of 'Behaviour: Invertebrates.'

‘A tale of two wasps’ by Frank Deschandol, France. Winner of ‘Behaviour: Invertebrates.’

'The golden moment' by Songda Cai, China. Winner of 'Under Water.'

‘The golden moment’ by Songda Cai, China. Winner of ‘Under Water.’

'Watching you watching them' by Alex Badyaev, Russia/USA. Winner of 'Urban Wildlife.'

‘Watching you watching them’ by Alex Badyaev, Russia/USA. Winner of ‘Urban Wildlife.’

'Show Business' by Kirsten Luce, USA, shows a bear forced to perform in a travelling Russian circus. Winner of the Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image' category.

‘Show Business’ by Kirsten Luce, USA, shows a bear forced to perform in a travelling Russian circus. Winner of the Wildlife Photojournalism: Single Image’ category.

'Backroom business' by Paul Hilton, UK/Australia, shows a pig-tailed macaque on show in Bali’s bird market. Winner 2020, Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award

‘Backroom business’ by Paul Hilton, UK/Australia, shows a pig-tailed macaque on show in Bali’s bird market. Winner 2020, Wildlife Photojournalist Story Award

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