PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced

 PHOTOS: Best Wild Animal Pictures of 2009 Announced
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Winner: Urban and Garden Wildlife
"Respect"

Pet cat Ryska showed who's boss despite being outsized by several red foxes that came snooping around photographer Igor Shpilenok's ranger cabin in Russia's far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula. Her defiance helped win Shpilenok a Wildlife Photographer of the Year honor in London on October 22, 2009.

She soon earned respect from them--and from me--living up to her name, which means 'little lynx' in Russian, said Shpilenok, who took Ryska along for company during his five-month stay in the vast Kronotsky Nature Reserve.

"Some photographers have the luck to be at the right place at the right time," commented competition judge and photographer Jan-Peter Lahall. "You don't play around with an angry cat, even if you are a big fox."

— Photograph courtesy Igor Shpilenok, Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009
 
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