Squabbling mice win People’s Choice award in Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest

Andy Wells
Freelance Writer
Station Squabble was the winner of the LUMIX People's Choice Award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition. (Sam Rowley/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

A picture of a pair of mice battling each other for some food has won the People’s Choice award in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.

Sam Rowley, who captured the squabbling rodents, spent a week on the London Underground in an effort to picture them.

And his efforts were rewarded when some 28,000 people voted for Station Squabble in the “best of the rest” category in the contest after it failed to win a top prize in the contest in October 2019.

Losing The Fight shows an orangutan dressed in boxing attire at Safari World in Bangkok. (Aaron Gekoski/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)
The Surrogate Mother shows ranger Elias Mugambi with an orphaned black rhino named Kitui at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. (Martin Buzora/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Read more: Winners of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year announced

Speaking of the moment the picture was taken, Rowley said the two mice were foraging separately until they both came along a piece of food they wanted.

He told the BBC: "I usually take a burst of photos and I got lucky with this shot, but then I had spent five days lying on a platform so it was probably going to happen at some point.”

The photography contest, which is run by the Natural History Museum, was won by Tibetan Yongqing Bao, who took a striking photo of the battle between a Tibetan fox and a marmot in a remote mountainous region of China.

Sir Michael Dixon, the director of the Natural History Museum, said of the People’s Choice winner: "Sam's image provides a fascinating glimpse into how wildlife functions in a human-dominated environment.

“The mice's behaviour is sculpted by our daily routine, the transport we use and the food we discard.

Spot The Reindeer shows white Arctic reindeer at the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard. (Francis De Andres/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)
Matching Outfits by Michel Zoghzoghi shows a jaguar and her cub holding an anaconda in the Pantanal, Brazil. (Michel Zoghzoghi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Read more: Rescued gorilla's adorable hug wins previous People’s Choice award

“This image reminds us that while we may wander past it every day, humans are inherently intertwined with the nature that is on our doorstep – I hope it inspires people to think about and value this relationship more.”

Runners-up in the poll included a picture of a jaguar and her cub battling a huge anaconda, and an orangutan dressed up in boxing attire for a performance.

The 2020 winners of the main contest will be announced in October.