While most zoos and aquariums are still closed to the public, the animals that inhabit them are living their lives like nothing’s going on, entirely unaware of the chaos of the outside world. The proof in the beautiful photographs selected as winners and runner-ups for The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) annual photo competition.
The competition is only open to zoo and aquarium staff and volunteers, many of whom submitted photos capturing incredible moments. The contest received hundreds of entries and was judged by a panel including TV naturalist Nick Baker.
According to the BIAZA, “The winners show the important work of zoos and aquariums at an immensely challenging time for these conservation organisations. Not only are these zoos and aquariums fighting for a better, wilder future, after months of closures they are reeling from the financial impacts of the Coronavirus.”
These are the winners and runner-ups in each category.
“The Boy in the Red Coat” — Winner in the Life in BIAZA Collection category
Judges adored this evocative image of a young boy being inspired by the ‘flying penguins.’
“I’m honoured to have won in the ‘Life in aBIAZA collection’ category. I think this picture perfectly represents how up-close experience with animals in good zoos can inspire a lifelong fascination with nature.” — Robert Everett
“Return of the Mac(aque)” — Runner-up in the Life in a BIAZA Collection category
“I’m utterly thrilled to have been selected as runner up, to be able to photograph these beautiful animals and help to highlight the incredibly important conservation efforts zoos engage in is a complete privilege” — ChrisTownsend
“Hold your gaze” — Winner in the Work Behind the Scenes category
“I believe that photography allows us to get closer to the natural world and is a great tool for the conservation of wildlife.” — Donovan Lew
“Owl have to be weighing you” — Runner-up in the Work Behind the Scenes category
This owl chick has so much character! Every day our zoos and aquariums are providing care to some of the most amazing species.
“Thao whipping frogs” — Winner in the Hearts and Minds category
An incredible and vivid image. Breeding is an important part of the work zoos and aquariums do but is just a fraction of the total conservation work that takes place!
“Nifty nose” — Runner-up in the Hearts and Minds category
Zoos are helping millions of visitors to comprehend the magic of the natural world and recruit them in the fight for nature. As well as giving them a fantastic day out!
“Wearing her heart on her nose” — Winner in the People’s Choice category
“While Beatrice took some time to herself, away from her rowdy boys, it was a rare opportunity to capture her heart shaped nose!” — Jo Thrower
“Mischievous kit” — Runner-up in the People’s Choice category
“I am very excited and grateful to receive the Runner Up award for my In the Moment photo of Kali the binturong kit. It’s always so much fun to photograph this mischievous boy, thank you for voting for us.” — Leanne Aldred