Into the wild: Photographers go to ends of the earth to capture these amazing wildlife shots
By Caroline Graham
Last updated at 5:54 PM on 04th October 2009
They spend weeks, months or even years waiting to track down and shoot their prey. But when wildlife photographers eventually capture their target, the results - as these picture show - are worth it.
French photographer Eric Lefranc's White Water Fishing shows a young brown bear in Katmai National Park in Alaska trying to catch fish on the salmon run.
White water fishing: A brown bear fishes the salmon run at Brooks Falls in Katmai National Park, Alaska
Mr Lefranc said the creature spent the entire day up to its neck in water, pouncing on fish in a waterfall with varying degrees of success.
Britain's Andrew Harrington spent two weeks in a hide to capture his shot of Russia's Amur leopard - one of just 25 that survive in the wild, making it one of the world's rarest cats.
Lure of the leopard: Andrew Harrington captured this extremely rare Amur leopard in the Russian Far East
Dutch photographer Jan Vermeer's shot of a puffin was taken after he travelled to the remote Varanger Fjord in Norway where each year thousands of seabirds, including puffins kittiwakes, auks and fulmars fly back to the cliffs to breed.
But not all photographers have to go to such great lengths for their shot - in some cases they just land in your lap - almost.
Flying in a snow storm: Jan Vermeer travelled to a remote fjord to capture this puffin
Intimate death: Photographer Miles Kooren was cooling off near a lagoon when this snake and its gecko prey dropped out of a tree
Dutch photographer Miles Kooren was just drying off after taking a dip in a lagoon in Lambir Hills National Park in Malaysia when a paradise tree snake and a gecko fell out of a tree. The scene ended with the snake slowly eating the gecko whole.
The amazing images are among 95 winning or commended entries for this year's Veolia Environment Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.
The category winners and overall winners – Wildlife Photographer of the Year and Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year – will be announced at an awards ceremony on 21 October, two days before the exhibition opens at the Natural History Museum in London.
A total of 95 winning or commended pictures in 17 categories feature in the exhibition which will tour regional and international venues after its London debut.
Last year's exhibit in London attracted nearly 161,000 visitors and more than 1 million visitors are expected to see this year's images at international and regional venues by the time the tour ends.
Bubble talk: A female sea leopard shows signs of frustration by blowing bubbles