Amber Rainsford

BIAZA Photo Competition 2023 - the winners!

Posted: 26th November, 2023

The British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) has announced the winning images in its 2023 photography competition,

BIAZA received over five hundred entries from zoo and aquarium staff, volunteers, and members of the public. They were judged based on metrics like composition and originality.The stunning photos show a patrolling lion, the moody reflections of pelican and extinct in the wild fish.

Dr Jo Judge, CEO of BIAZA said “year-on-year, it’s brilliant to see the beauty and character of the natural world encapsulated in our photo competition winners. With so much devastating news about wildlife in decline, it’s important to remind ourselves and others about the diversity of species in need of our protection.”

See all eighteen winners and runner ups below:

Mammal Category

WINNER - David Roberts | Yorkshire Wildlife Park | Last Light in Lion Country

This Lion was patrolling his habitat as the winter sun was setting. Photographer David Roberts positioned themselves to capture the beautiful light hitting the Lion's face. 

RUNNER UP - Cam Whitnall | The Big Cat Sanctuary| Atara

Within 30 seconds of getting to her habitat, Atara the Leopard appeared out of the bushes with her eyes locked onto photographer Cam Whitnall, allowing for this photo.
Within 30 seconds of getting to her habitat, Atara the Leopard appeared out of the bushes with her eyes locked onto photographer Cam Whitnall, allowing for this photo. 

RUNNER UP - Jack Valpy | The Big Cat Sanctuary | Stripy Luca

Luca had recently arrived at The Big Cat Sanctuary and out of chance while getting some video footage for a different cat, the photographer happened upon Luca in his pond, after which Luca started to stalk him from the pond - which is how this photo formed. 

Bird Category

WINNER - Megan Lee | Longleat Safari Park | Deep in the Shadows

When driving through the safari in Longleat photographer Megan Lee went past the Pelicans and saw them standing on the rocks amongst dark shadows, whilst also creating a lovely reflection in the water.

RUNNER UP - Bernard Jude Catterall | Blair Drummond Safari Park | Flying Neck Roll

Photographer Bernard is fascinated by the ability of birds to keep their head firmly in line with their prey whilst performing steep turns – finally capturing that ability in this photo. The change in focus from the head to the wings demonstrates the impression of movement.

RUNNER UP - Hannah Bolam | Exmoor Zoo | Shoebill Caught in a Storm

A sudden heavy rainstorm hit Exmoor Zoo, just as the photographer was admiring Abou, the only Shoebill Stork in the UK. She didn't move a muscle, allowing the water to flow off her feathers and beak.

Fish Category

WINNER - David Hughes | Chester Zoo | Clownfish

This image was taken at Chester Zoo in their main reception. Alongside familiar tropical fish like this clownfish, Chester Zoo’s aquarium houses species like Extinct-in-the-Wild tequila fish. 

RUNNER UP - Sam Needham | The Deep | Sunrise Serenity

In the depths beneath the surface, where sunlight plays hide and seek with the corals, is a Yellow Dogface Pufferfish. Its presence is a testament to the wonders hidden beneath the surface of our oceans.

RUNNER UP - Sophie Boynton | The Deep | Silhouette Shark

A graceful shark against the lights. Aquariums like The Deep in Hull are critical for turning a fear of sharks into a fascination, as one of the more misaligned species on our planet. 

Reptile category

WINNER - Casey Dyke | Marwell Wildlife | Marwell's Emerald

Photographer Casey decided to go into Marwell Zoo's reptile house while it was early in the day. They found a pair of tree monitors were the more active they had ever been, and this photo features the lovely female.

RUNNER UP - Anais Arangath | Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park | Severus Snake the Ball Python

Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park, Gibraltar, has its very own ball python named Severus Snake, who was curious about a hibiscus flower during an enrichment session.

RUNNER UP - Amber Rainsford | ZSL London Zoo | Tiny but mighty

The Turquoise dwarf gecko is probably the smallest reptile in London Zoo’s iconic reptile house. But with those vivid blue scales, it probably stands out the most. In this moment the gecko took interest the camera lens and sat there for a few minutes allowing its curiosity to be captured in this photo.  

Amphibian Category

WINNER - Megan Lee | Plantasia Tropical Zoo | Sleepy Potato

This White's tree frog, called Potato, is a resident of Plantasia Tropical Zoo in Swansea. Megan Lee found the frog when he was so relaxed that he kept dozing off, and couldn’t resist taking a photo of a little frog falling asleep.

RUNNER UP - Joe Whitnall | Chester Zoo | Sitting Pretty

Photographer Joe Whitnall waited for this Golden Mantella frog to pause on a leaf in an unobstructed position in the Tropical Realm at Chester Zoo, a building which features hundreds of animals and free flight birds. 

RUNNER UP - Ed Breeze | Chester Zoo | Lake Titicaca water frog

This Lake Titicaca frog getting a view of the visitors at Chester Zoo, not long after going on display for the first time. This Endangered species is the world’s largest aquatic frog.

Invertebrates Category

WINNER - Casey Dyke | ZSL London Zoo | Jelly Tranquillity

Walking through the 'Tiny Giants' building at London Zoo is always interesting and this was photographer Casey Dyke’s first time seeing their new group of nettle jellyfish, moving gracefully through the water.

RUNNER UP - Sam Needham | Folly Farm | Scarlet Ballet

Zoos don’t just thrive to be havens for exotic species, but local ones too. This delicate moment, the peacock butterfly reminds photographer Sam Needham that even the most unassuming settings can become stages for nature's artistry.

RUNNER UP - Charlotte Fawkes | Chester Zoo | Jewel Wasp

Chester Zoo is one of the few places which showcases magnificent jewel wasps – demonstrating that not all wasps are alike. 


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