Picture of mice fighting for food in London Underground wins major photography award

Picture of mice fighting for food in London Underground wins major photography award
Photo credit: Sam Rowley/Natural History Museum

A picture of mice fighting over crumbs at a London tube station has a won major photography award.

Sam Rowley’s impressive photograph “Station Squabble” was voted the LUMIX People’s Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. 

The awards, which are held by the London Natural History Museum, had 48,000 images submitted for contention by wildlife enthusiasts from 100 countries.

The judges announced a group of winners in October 2019, then the public was able to pick their favourite photograph.

Over 28,000 people voted for their favourite of 25 shortlisted images and Rowley’s photo was announced as the winner on February 12. 

Rowley, a young Bristol-based wildlife filmmaker, photographer and biology graduate, said in a press release that he is very happy about his win.

"It's been a lifetime dream to succeed in this competition in this way, with such a relatable photo taken in such an everyday environment in my hometown. 

“I hope it shows people the unexpected drama found in the most familiar of urban environments."

Rowley captured the photo by lying on the train station platform as passengers came and went, waiting for them to drop food and the mice to pounce.

He said that once someone did, the tiny animals would grab it instantly and he only had a split second to take an image.

Museum Director Sir Michael Dixon said in the statement that the photo showed the impact humans can have on animal life.

"Sam's image provides a fascinating glimpse into how wildlife functions in a human-dominated environment. The mice’s behaviour is sculpted by our daily routine, the transport we use and the food we discard," he said.

The museum said Rowley’s photo was also the first winner in the People’s Choice category to feature a human-made environment.

Runners up include photos of an orphaned black rhino, jaguars holding an anaconda and an orangutan dressed up as a boxer.

Rowley’s picture along with other winning images will be seen by hundreds of people in a Natural History Museum exhibition. The display is open until May 31 and sells out most weekends.

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