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Specially commendedL 'Sockeye catch' by Valter Bernardeschi. Each year between July and September, millions of sockeye salmon migrate from the Pacific back up rivers to the fresh waters of Lake Kuril, to spawn in the waters where they were born. This volcanic crater lake, in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary in the Russian Far East, is the largest sockeye salmon spawning ground in Eurasia. The annual glut attracts Kamchatka brown bears from the surrounding forests to feast on the fish and fatten up for hibernation. Following the example of the bears, Valter waded into the icy water to get the right perspective and to wait for an action moment – a real test of physical endurance. By doing so, ‘I almost became one of them,’ and ‘in the silence of the Garden of Eden I did not think about anything else.’ This bear reared up some three metres on its hind legs and scanned the water for fish. Suddenly it pounced on a female salmon swollen with roe, the force sending a string of crimson eggs spinning out of her body. (Valter Bernardeschi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Specially commendedL 'Sockeye catch' by Valter Bernardeschi. Each year between July and September, millions of sockeye salmon migrate from the Pacific back up rivers to the fresh waters of Lake Kuril, to spawn in the waters where they were born. This volcanic crater lake, in the South Kamchatka Sanctuary in the Russian Far East, is the largest sockeye salmon spawning ground in Eurasia. The annual glut attracts Kamchatka brown bears from the surrounding forests to feast on the fish and fatten up for hibernation. Following the example of the bears, Valter waded into the icy water to get the right perspective and to wait for an action moment – a real test of physical endurance. By doing so, ‘I almost became one of them,’ and ‘in the silence of the Garden of Eden I did not think about anything else.’ This bear reared up some three metres on its hind legs and scanned the water for fish. Suddenly it pounced on a female salmon swollen with roe, the force sending a string of crimson eggs spinning out of her body. (Valter Bernardeschi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Twin gorillas and soaked lions: Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2013

September 4, 2013

Soaking wet lions in the Serengeti, toads emerging from the water and a

bear catching his dinner are just some of the stunning pictures

recognised by the Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards. The

competition, now in its 49th year, attracted 43,000 entries from 96

countries around the world. The unique insight into the natural world

will be on exhibition at the Natural History Museum in partnership with

BBC Worldwide from October 18. Take a look at the commended and

specially commended images...