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These incredible photos just won BC SPCA's annual wildlife photography contest

The winners were selected from a field of nearly 1,000 submissions
bc spca 2020 wildlife photography contest bears WS1_2020_230608_Joshua Wolfe_Black bear mom and cub close up
This shot by amateur B.C. photographer Joshua Wolfe took the top spot in the BC SPCA’s 12th annual Wildlife-in-Focus photography contest. Photo by Joshua Wolfe

It turns out you don't have to be a National Geographic photographer to capture stunning images of some of B.C.'s most beloved wildlife.  

The BC SPCA recently released the winning shots from its 12th annual Wildlife-in-Focus photography contest, and they're more than likely to inspire you to grab your camera (or cellphone) and head outside.

The hundreds of amateur wildlife photographers in B.C. who entered this year's contest "have once again made tough work for judges," the BC SPCA explained in a release. In addition to the judges' picks, a people's choice award was determined by public votes, as well as "a number of incredible honourable mentions that celebrate the beauty in B.C.’s wild and urban environments." 

Competitors could submit their photos into two categories: Backyard Habitats, "in order to highlight our special relationship with wild animals in our backyards," explained the BC SPCA, and Wild Settings, for images that featured B.C.'s animals in their most natural habitats.

“With more than 956 photos submitted, it was a challenge for the contest judges to highlight only a few of the many amazing photos celebrating B.C.’s diverse wildlife,” said BC SPCA spokesperson Erin Ryan in the release.

The first-place winners in both judged categories will be featured in an upcoming issue of the BC SPCA’s Animal Sense magazine, while the judge’s top three choices in each category, and the top 12 people’s choice photos, will appear on a pack of greeting cards that the BC SPCA said will soon be available soon through its online store.

“We want to thank all the participants for sharing their amazing photos and helping to raise more than $32,920 to help the BC SPCA care for injured and orphaned wildlife," Ryan added. 

Check out the winning shots below, and head to the BC SPCA's website to see the many other photos that earned an honourable mention. 

Backyard Habitats

bc spca 2020 wildlife photography contest chipmunk BH1_2020_224835_Thomas Haslinger_PineChipmunkFirst place: Thomas Haslinger (Coldstream) – Chipmunk

bc spca wildlife photography contest 2020 robins Campbell River Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 9.52.31 PM
Second place: D. Ross Fisher (Campbell River) – Robins

bc spca wildlife photography contest 2020 tree frog Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 9.54.46 PM
Third place: Sandy Stirling (Nanoose Bay) – Tree Frog

Wild Settings

bc spca 2020 wildlife photography contest bears WS1_2020_230608_Joshua Wolfe_Black bear mom and cub close upFirst place: Joshua Wolfe (New Westminster) – Black Bears
bc spca wildlife photography contest 2020 owl burnaby Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 9.57.51 PM
Second place: Greg Peterson (Burnaby) – Short-eared Owl

bc spca wildlife photography contest 2020 mink  Screen Shot 2020-09-17 at 9.59.27 PM
 Third place: Deborah Freeman (Nanoose Bay) - Mink

People’s Choice Award

PEOPLES CHOICE_BH2020_225412_Eileen Harris_Bee on grass

 Eileen Harris (Kelowna) – Bee on Flower