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World’s best wildlife images

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From kissing flies to pouncing foxes, come see some of the most arresting wildlife images from almost 50,000 worldwide entries to the Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, below...

The tourist tiger trail: Melisa Lee of Malaysia shows a male tiger leading tourists around the Tiger Temple monastery in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, followed by his two-month-old cubs, below. It is unusual to see a male leading his cubs as the youngsters would normally stay with their mother until at least a year old.

Melisa Lee/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Light Show: Sandra Bartocha was Specially Commended for her beautiful shot of melting snow in a fog covered forest near her home in Potsdam, Germany, below. ‘The evening sun created a glow around the tall, wet trunks of the Scots pines," she said.

Sandra Bartocha/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Sizing up: Klaus Tamm of Germany caught these neriid long-legged flies, below in the act. "Every so often, a couple of males would take a break from feeding and engage in a kind of combat dance that involved spinning around each other," he said. "They would finish by stretching up to their full one and a half centimetres, then pushing with their mouthparts, shoulders and forelegs until one gained height, before flying away or mating with nearby females."

Klaus Tamm/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

The Duel: Sergey Gorshkov captures an Arctic fox sizing up one of the many snow geese arriving on Wrangel Island, in northeastern Russia, below.

Sergey Gorshkov/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Turtle gem: Spain's Jordi Chias spotted this beautiful green sea turtle, below, in Armeñime, a small cove off the south coast of Tenerife. "The dazzling colours, symmetry and textured patterns were mesmerising,’ said Jordi.

Jordi Chias/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Leaping lemur: Heinrich van den Berg of South Africa snapped a Verreaux’s sifakas, below, in Madagascar. "They spring off their back legs, then twist in the air to land perfectly on the next trunk," said Heinrich.

Heinrich van den Berg/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Snow pounce: British photographer Richard Peters bagged this breathtaking image, below, of a fox mid-leap in Yellowstone National Park, in Wyoming, USA. He said: "It was already in pounce position, and I barely had time to lift the camera before it leapt up into the air almost clean out of my field of view. I managed to get a sequence of the leap, but I love this quirky image best, which gives a real sense of just how high these wonderful animals can jump."

Richard Peters/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Fly-by drinking: Ofer Levy (Israel/Australia) was Specially commended for his image of a grey-headed flying fox bat swooping on the water in Parramatta Park in New South Wales, below. He stood in chest-deep water for around three hours a day for a week in order to snap the perfect shot."At dusk, it swoops low over the water, skimming the surface with its belly and chest," he said. "Then, as it flies off, it licks the drops off its wet fur.

Ofer Levy/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Dive robbers: Jean Tresfon of South Africa spent five days trying to capture the feeding frenzy that develops when sardines and herrings migrate off South Africa’s Wild Coast, below. "In this picture," said Jean, "the gannet is desperately trying to swallow a herring as a gang of cormorants gives chase."

Jean Tresfon/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

Relaxation: Jasper Doest of The Netherlands took this incredible image of a drowsy Japanese macaques, below, in the Jigokudani Valley of central Japan. "It’s such an honour when an animal trusts you enough to fall asleep in front of you," said Jasper. "I used a close-up shot to capture the moment of tranquility and to emphasise the human likeness in both face and pleasure."

Jasper Doest/ Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2012

The competition, co-owned by the Natural History Museum and BBC Worldwide, attracted 48,000 entries from 98 countries across the globe. The exhibition of 100 of the best entries will be held at the Natural History Museum from 19 October 2012 until 3 March 2013, 10.00am - 5:30pm.

Which is your favourite image? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.

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