The London Zoo Celebrates Animal Photography With Contest and Exhibition

The Perfect Moment runner up (adult) - THE STRONGEST BOND, Tom Way // ZSL London Zoo
The Perfect Moment runner up (adult) - THE STRONGEST BOND, Tom Way // ZSL London Zoo / The Perfect Moment runner up (adult) - THE STRONGEST BOND, Tom Way // ZSL London Zoo

To see lions cuddle, sea turtles dive, and tailless bats awkwardly lick stuff mid-flight, you'd probably have to change your name to Jack Hanna. Or as an alternative, you can check out the Zoological Society of London's Animal Photography Prize exhibition, currently on view at the London Zoo until February 2016. The exhibition features the winning photos from this year's ZSL Animal Photography Prize, with entries from both adult and junior photographers from around the world.

According to a ZSL press release, each of the photos was judged based on "technical excellence" and how well they "capture the essence of the animal world." The pool of over 450 entries was narrowed down by a panel of expert judges, and this September, winners in both divisions were selected in six categories: "The Perfect Moment," "Last Chance to See," "Weird and Wonderful," "Size Matters," "The Birds and the Bees," and "Deep and Meaningful," with the overall winners named as the Judge's Choice.

The overall adult winner of the fourth annual contest is Andy Skillen, who, according to ZSL, had to get into the water at Lake Clark National Park to photograph a female grizzly bear with Alaskan mountain peaks in the distance. The Judge's Choice and "Perfect Moment" winner for the junior division is a photo of a wet cormorant taken at London's Hyde Park by Gideon Knight, who says that he spent hours photographing the animals because he wanted to "draw people’s attention to these fantastic birds."

Check out a few of the best images from 2015 contest below, and head to the ZSL London Zoo website to register for the 2016 edition.

Judge's Choice winner and Size Matters (adult)- TIMELESS, Andy Skillen // ZSL London Zoo

Judge's Choice winner and The Perfect Moment (junior) - DROPLETS, Gideon Knight // ZSL London Zoo

The Perfect Moment runne up (adult)- Anoura Geoffroy's tailless bat, Nicolas Reusens // ZSL London Zoo

Deep and Meaningful runner up (adult) - TURTLE PORTRAIT, Michael Gallagher // ZSL London Zoo

The Birds and the Bees winner (adult) - A PRESENT FOR MY LOVE, John Gooday // ZSL London Zoo

Last Chance to See runner up (junior) - SLEEPING BEAUTY, Tianha Williams// ZSL London Zoo