A sleeping polar bear and some sociable penguins are among the images shortlisted for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People Choice award

In a celebration of the breathtaking beauty of the natural world and a call to address environmental challenges, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year People’s Choice Award has opened its doors to public voting.

The selection includes 25 exceptional images chosen meticulously by the Natural History Museum in London and an esteemed international judging panel. These captivating snapshots originate from an impressive 49,957 entries spanning 95 countries, providing a global perspective on wildlife photography.

The shortlisted images feature a diverse range of scenes, from a serene polar bear peacefully asleep on an iceberg to two hares sharing an intimate moment, an upright grizzly bear in a shimmering lake, and an Adélie penguin approaching an emperor penguin with its chick.

Adding a poignant dimension to the collection is a striking image featuring a rail of clothing crafted from some of the world’s most endangered big cats. This serves as a powerful reminder of the delicate balance between conservation efforts and the fashion industry.

Some entries shed light on the detrimental impact of human actions on nature, such as a young fox foraging on an overflowing trash can in London and a male elephant navigating through a heap of rubbish. These images starkly remind us of the challenges our planet faces due to human activities.

The public is encouraged to participate in online voting until January 31, contributing to the selection of the winner and the top four images. The results will be unveiled in February and prominently featured both online and in-person at the prestigious Natural History Museum.

This impactful competition is part of the Call to Earth editorial series, led by CNN, dedicated to addressing environmental challenges and solutions. In collaboration with Rolex’s Perpetual Planet initiative, the competition aims to foster awareness, education, and positive action regarding key sustainability issues.