Matthew Maran Photography

‘The Rat Game’ – Wildlife Photographer of the Year

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Fox London United Kingdom Wildlife Photographer of the Year

I’m delighted to be highly commended in the mammal behaviour category of this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year. ‘The Rat Game’ was taken on the allotment close to where I live in north London and was the most exhilarating experience I’ve had in four years photographing there. Watching three foxes squabble over ownership of the poor rat was such a thrill. They chased each other around, tossing it in the air and catching it again in a display of cat-like behaviour. It’s extra satisfying to be awarded in a competition I’ve coveted for so many years and view as the benchmark for the world’s best wildlife photography. When I first entered back in 2001 I thought the answer was to travel to witness the best wildlife encounters. I couldn’t have been more wrong as my two successes in the past three years in this competition have come from working on a project close to home. The pandemic has meant many wildlife photographers and filmmakers having to turn their lenses to accessible stories close to home. I hope this inspires more to do the same so we can celebrate, inform and improve the state of nature in the UK.