London Zoo animal photo competition

By Samantha Herbert, MSN News ZSL, Lucy Ray
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Take a look at these stunning winning images from the ZSL Animal Photography Prize 2012.

This great snap taken by Lucy Ray, was awarded a highly commended in the adult 'perfect moment' category.

ZSL, Robert Heischman
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The competition was launched in April in a bid to inspire amateur and professional photographers to get out and capture the wonders of the natural world, like this Gharial.

This photo won the 'weird and wonderful' adult category, taken by Robert Heischman. He said: "I love gharials for how sharp and angular they are, so when I saw this individual holding his head at such a steep angle, I knew I had an interesting shot on my hands."

ZSL, Jason Brown
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Adult and junior photographers submitted entries for the competition's seven categories including The Human Animal and Birds and the Bees, to be in with the chance of winning part of the £10,000 prize fund.

Taken by Jason Brown, this photo of an Amur Leopard gained a highly commended in the 'last chance to see category'.

ZSL, Matthew Coutts
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All the winning images will now be displayed in an exhibition at London Zoo.

Winning the 'human animal' category, this photo was taken by Matthew Coutts.

ZSL, Bex Saunders
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The competition was run by the Zoological Society of London which run both London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo.

Junior photographer Bex Saunders won the 'size matters' category with this great shot.

ZSL, Ibrahim Roushdi
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ZSL is an internationsl chairty dedicated to conservation around the world.

This photo of Florida Manatee was winner of the 'last chance to see' category, taken by Ibrahim Roushdi.

ZSL, Celtic Meredith
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Judges of the competition looked not only at technical excellence, but chose photographs that captured the essence of the animal world.

Celtic Meredith won a highly commended in the 'Birds and the Bees' category with this Ostrich photo.

ZSL, Jeremy Cai
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Sarah Barron, ZSL's project manager for the exhibition said: "We've been blown away by the calibre of the images submitted for the ZSL Animal Photography Prize."

In the junior category for 'weird and wonderful' images, Jeremy Cai was given a highly commeneded for this close-up shot.