An incredible image captured by Canadian physcian Don Gutoski has earned the photographer the honor of 2015 Wildlife photographer of the Year. Gutoski works as an accident and emergency physcian out of London, Ontario and moonlights as an amateur photographer. His graphic photo won the international competition organized by the Natural history museum in London, U. K. by beating out 42,000 entries from 96 countries.
Gutoski’s image, A Tale of Two Foxes, was taken in the protected polar bear denning area Wapusk National Park at Cape Churchill to the east of Churchill.
With warming temperatures and natural species cycles, red foxes have overlapped more territory with Arctic foxes over the past decade. Some years one species will be more predominant than the other and red fox now seem more prevalent in recent years.
The photo was taken after three hours in roughly -30C temperatures. When the red fox was close enough with its fallen prey, Gutoski snapped the photo. The red fox then gathered the carcass remains and cached it out of sight for a later meal.
Contest jury member Kathy Moran, also senior editor for natural history projects for National Geographic, called it “one of the strongest single storytelling photographs I have ever seen.” She also added, “The immediate impact of this photograph is that it appears as if the red fox is slipping out of its winter coat. What might simply be a straightforward interaction between predator and prey struck the jury as a stark example of climate change, with red foxes encroaching on Arctic fox territory.”