Hyena under Starry African Night.

Natural world category, winner:
Image Credit: Photograph by Will Burrard-Lucas
‘To show hyenas in their element, I wanted to photograph them at night,’ Burrard-Lucas says.
‘The stars in Africa are so beautiful that I also wanted to include them in my image.
I used a remote-control “BeetleCam” to position my camera on the ground so I could photograph the hyena with the beautiful starry sky behind.
This is a single exposure.
I lit the hyena with two wireless off-camera flashes and used a long shutter speed to expose the stars’
Source: The winners of the Sony world photography awards 2017 – in pictures | Art and design | The Guardian

Cats of London.

thurston-hopkins-cats-of-london-1 Thurston Hopkins was one of Britain’s greatest photojournalists and part of the golden age of reportage.
Working for Picture Post he captured the humanity, spirit and social inequality and contradictions of life in 1950s Britain.
One of the first essays by Hopkins published in Picture Post was his ‘Cats of London’ (Feb 1951 edition), almost certainly suggested by the many cats he met while walking around the streets of London on other assignments.

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The blitz had made many cats homeless, and these strays had often established themselves in the bombsites, living and breeding more or less wild on the scraps the could find and that friendly neighbours put out from them.
Even cats who still enjoyed good homes would spend much of their time on the streets; the cat flap was as yet unknown and every cat owner still ‘put the cat out’ as part of the ritual of retiring for the night.
City cats were still street cats first and home cats when it pleased them.

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Hopkins started to collect pictures of these cats on the street, attracting them with a little food, and it made an interesting if not profound story
Source: vintage everyday: Thurston Hopkins – Cats of London in the 1950s

Lundy helps Veteran.

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When U.S. Navy hospital corpsman Marshall Peters returned from a tour of duty in Kandahar, Afghanistan, in 2010, he couldn’t sleep. He felt depressed and anxious, and hated being around crowds or loud noises.
Like many veterans returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan, Peters was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
Then, he started working with Lundy, a golden retriever he named after his former roommate who was killed in action.
Through the nonprofit organization Warrior Canine Connection, Peters and other veterans with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other health problems started training service dogs for other disabled veterans.
The soldiers report that the dog training helped ease their symptoms and made it easier to readapt to society.
“I found myself no longer relying on the antidepressants, anti-anxiety meds or medication for sleep that I was taking before to ‘treat’ my PTSD, depression and insomnia,” said Peters, who was honorably discharged from the Navy in 2012.
“I didn’t know at the time that what I was doing with the therapy dogs was therapy for myself at well.”
Continue reading at…via Tanya Lewis – Live Science.

Playing in the Snow.

Image Credit: Photograph by Bruna Mentrup-Nortje.
After two days of fighting for space to photograph the monkeys lazing around in a hot water pool, I decided to venture out on my own.
I came upon these three Snow Monkeys (Japanese Macaques) playing in the snow.
It was late afternoon and the sun was behind the monkeys which created beautiful backlighting for me, shining through the monkey’s golden brown fur as they played.
The background also changed into a beautiful dark blue with the white snow as my foreground.
Source: Daily Dozen — Photos — National Geographic Your Shot

London’s Tower Menagerie.

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by Laura Bannister
A brief history of London’s Tower Menagerie, 1812.
It was New Year’s Eve 1764, and John Wesley—founding father of Methodism, horseback proselytizer, teetotaler—stood before the structure now known as the Tower of London, accompanied by a flautist, who was, in turn, accompanied by his flute.
Wesley had traveled to this sprawling complex in the hope of testing a hypothesis. Could music soothe the most savage of beasts? If it did, Wesley might clear up a burning theological ambiguity—the question of whether nonhuman animals had souls.
With his contracted companion in tow, he marched through the tower, determined to find some big cats and to smother them with song. Zoos, as we know them today, did not exist in Wesley’s lifetime—the zoological garden is a distinctly modern phenomenon.
Even the London Zoo, one of the oldest “scientific” outdoor sites for animal rehoming, opened six decades after his tower trip.

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If Wesley wished to glean the spirituality of lions firsthand, the infamous citadel, all arched cages and grilles, was his best bet in England.
(Spoiler: the reaction to a live flute performance was mostly lukewarm—only one out of five lions stirred and stood up on all fours—not quite what our preacher had been hankering for.)
read on via An Abridged History of London’s Tower Menagerie

Diving with Stellar Sea Lions.

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Photo and Story by Richard Salas.
Brawny Sea Pups
Diving with Steller sea lions is like playing rugby with a 500-pound, 7-foot animal that just doesn’t have any respect for one’s personal boundaries.
Their ability to slam their massive bodies against yours while checking out your head with their canine teeth can be a bit unnerving.
But being with these Steller sea lions, Eumetopias jubatus, is one of the most enjoyable interactions between me and any sea life I have ever had.
See more Images via The Dynamic Lives of Undersea Animals | DiscoverMagazine.com.