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Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards showcase remarkable animal drama

First place went to a photo showing the last moments of a marmot's life as a fox prepares to lunge at it.

Yongqing Bao

The marmot's in trouble, but the photo is a winner. Chinese photographer Yongqing Bao has won the Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 title for The Moment, a photo showing a Tibetan fox apparently about to lunge at a startled, marmot that seems almost human.

"Photographically, it is quite simply the perfect moment," said Roz Kidman Cox, chair of the judging panel. "The expressive intensity of the postures holds you transfixed, and the thread of energy between the raised paws seems to hold the protagonists in perfect balance."

Not such a perfect moment for the marmot. The BBC reports that it didn't survive its encounter with the fox.

Wildlife Photographer of the Year is an international competition developed and produced by the Natural History Museum in London.

Cruz Erdmann, 14, was named Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019 for his portrait of an iridescent big fin reef squid, taken at night in the Lembeh Strait off North Sulawesi in Indonesia.

The contest drew 48,000 entries from 100 countries, with 19 category winners named. One hundred of the photos will be on display at London's Natural History Museum before touring the UK and numerous other locations, including the US and Australia.