International wildlife charity Born Free is delighted to announce that the winner of its 2019 photography competition #ShootToThrill is Robin Claydon from Hertfordshire for his incredible shot of a wild brown bear at Salmon Creek in Alaska.
Designed to raise awareness of Born Free’s trophy and canned hunting appeal, encouraging people to appreciate wildlife in the wild and hang art on their walls rather than dead animal trophies, the competition received thousands of entries from all over the world.
The best entries were narrowed down and uploaded to Born Free’s Facebook page for the public to vote for the winner. Robin’s picture was a clear favourite with the public; however, Daniella Arenare’s stunning portrait of a lion in Kwantu Private Game Reserve in South Africa, and Pat McKerrow’s perfect capture of a red squirrel in Cairngorms, Scotland were close runners up.
Robin won a professional lesson with Born Free’s in-house photography team, a copy of his photograph presented on canvas - signed by actress and Born Free’s founder Virginia McKenna - as well as a whole host of goodies from the Born Free shop.
Howard Jones, CEO of Born Free, said:
“Animals belong in the wild, not on a wall. If it has to be the latter, then photography is the answer. People can still be connected with wildlife and experience the thrill and pure delight that can be enjoyed when watching animals in their natural state, but it’s got to be through the lens of a camera and not down the barrel of a gun.
“We were overwhelmed by the number of amazing entries submitted to our competition. The standard was incredibly high so thank you to everyone who took the time to enter and share their memories with us. Huge congratulations to Robin for his photograph which perfectly captures the freedom of the Alaskan brown bear.”
“Our work is not over though. Hundreds of thousands of innocent animals have been killed by trophy hunters in the last decade alone. Most hunters claim that the money they pay to the hunting outfitters helps wildlife conservation and local economy but it’s all a myth - research shows that alternative activities such as photographic tourism can generate far more revenue from wildlife than trophy hunting. We won’t stop campaigning until this barbaric sport is brought to an end.”