PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced

 PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced
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Overall Winner
"The Storybook Wolf"

October 22, 2009--This nighttime shot of a wolf leaping into a farm in northern Spain has been named overall winner of the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009 competition.

The picture, by Spanish photographer Josi Luis Rodrmguez, was selected from more than 43,000 entries. Iberian wolves--a subspecies of the gray wolf--are extremely wary of humans after centuries of persecution. Rodrmguez captured the photograph using motion sensors and an infrared barrier to operate the camera.

"This wolf jumping over the farmer's enclosure with the supposed intent of killing his livestock speaks for itself--thousands of years of history are frozen in this masterfully executed moment," competition judge and nature photographer Jim Brandenburg said in a statement.

The winning image was announced at London's Natural History Museum, which jointly owns the annual photo competition with BBC Wildlife Magazine.

--James Owen
—Photograph courtesy Josi Luis Rodrmguez, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009
 
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