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Arts & Life

How Patience Got Yongqing Bao The Winning Wildlife Photo

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Now, our next story is set in the mountains of China.

NOEL KING, HOST:

In a high grassland region, a marmot had just emerged from his burrow. But a mother fox was on the hunt.

INSKEEP: She pounced, and the marmot leapt away.

KING: All of which we know because the fox was not the only one lurking. Photographer Yongqing Bao snapped a picture, and it won him the 2019 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

CHRIS PACKHAM: And for a moment, both animals seem frozen in a matter of life or death. Ladies and gentlemen, what a stonking (ph) photograph.

INSKEEP: Chris Packham introducing me to the term stonking. Is that new to you also, Noel?

KING: Unfamiliar (laughter).

INSKEEP: OK. Stonking, a stonking photograph. Packham is the host of the Natural History Museum's award ceremony and described the photographer waiting and waiting for action.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PACKHAM: But the fox didn't move. It lay in the same position, pretending to be asleep - cunning, you see, the fox.

INSKEEP: At last, the leap came, and Bao got his winning photo. But the marmot...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PACKHAM: Well, I'm afraid the Tibetan fox cubs enjoyed a fresh meal. Stop it.

(LAUGHTER)

PACKHAM: It's what makes the world go round (laughter).

INSKEEP: Through an interpreter, the photographer, Bao, said what the award meant to him.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

YONGQING BAO: (Through interpreter) If my work encourages more people to love and protect wild animals, that will be my greatest fulfillment. Thank you.

(APPLAUSE)

KING: Bao ended up giving his photograph a simple title - "The Moment."

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.