More than 43,000 entries were submitted by photographers in 96 countries for the honor of being named the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. Co-sponsored by London's Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, the competition, now in its 49th year, promotes the appreciation of nature by honoring those most talented at capturing its beauty and intensity.
This year's winners will be exhibited in London through March, and the show embarks on an international tour this November. While you wait for it to come your way, you can check out the 10 top winners below. The stories behind the winning shots were provided by the competition's organizers.