Sanctuary Wildlife Photography Awards 2017
Joint Winner: Milinda Wattegedara
Open Category, Creatures Great and Small
Forsaken: Death is inevitable. A spotted deer struggles furiously and helplessly as a bask of crocodiles enter into a feeding frenzy. It turns its eyes heavenwards, but seconds later is ripped to shreds by the ravenous reptiles. The acute desperation evident in this image captured on the banks of the Buthawa tank in Yala National Park is enough to trigger one’s fight-or-flight response. The ill-fated deer was originally felled by just one crocodile, but the others were quick to join in. Last year, we compared Milinda Wattegedara’s equally well-timed special mention image to a Monet painting, this year it’s reminiscent of a twisted, jungle-themed Botticelli. With his steady hand, he has framed a staggering, action-packed image that depicts the gory, no rules apply rule of Mother Nature.