Say Cheese! Hilarious photo of fighting mice wins Lumix People's Choice Award

Say Cheese! Hilarious photo of fighting mice wins Lumix People's Choice Award
(Image credit: Sam Rowley/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

A perfectly timed and amusing portrait of urban wildlife, showing a punch up between two mice on a London Underground station platform, is the winner of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year LUMIX People's Choice award for 2019.

28,000 nature photography fans voted and Bristol-based photographer Sam Rowley's ‘Station squabble’ emerged as the winner.

Sam's image was chosen from a shortlist of 25 images that were chosen by the Natural History Museum from over 48,000 images that were submitted for the 2019 competition. The image will be displayed in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Natural History Museum in London until it closes on 31 May 2020.

A full rundown of the 25 shortlisted images can be seen below:

Station squabble by Sam Rowley, UK Sam discovered the best way to photograph the mice inhabiting London’s Underground was to lie on the platform and wait. He only saw them fight over scraps of food dropped by passengers a few times, possibly because it is so abundant. This fight lasted a split second, before one grabbed a crumb and they went their separate ways. (Image credit: Sam Rowley/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Tender play by Steve Levi, USA It was early March and Steve spotted this mother polar bear and her two cubs after 10 days of looking. They had recently left their birthing den in Wapusk National Park, Canada, to begin the long journey to the sea ice so their mother could feed. After a nap the cubs were in a playful mood. (Image credit: Steve Levi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Family get-together by Michael Schober, Austria Marmots have become accustomed to the presence of humans in Hohe Tauern National Park, Austria and allow people to observe and photograph them at close range. This behavior is beneficial for the marmots, as human company deters predators such as golden eagles. (Image credit: Michael Schober/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Matching outfits by Michel Zoghzoghi, Lebanon` Michel was in the Pantanal, Brazil photographing jaguars. One afternoon, as he was on the Três Irmãos River, a mother and her cub crossed right in front of his boat. He watched mesmerized as they left the water holding an anaconda with a very similar pattern to their own. (Image credit: Michel Zoghzoghi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Captive by Marcus Westberg, Sweden A giant panda sits in its cage in a breeding centre in Shaanxi, China. With a growing wild population and no realistic plan of how to breed and raise pandas for rerelease into the wild rather than a life in captivity –not to mention lack of habitat being the largest barrier to the continued spread of the wild population –it is unclear how such centers will benefit the species. (Image credit: Marcus Westberg/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Trustful by Ingo Ardnt, Germany For over two years Ingo has followed the pumas of Torres del Paine National Park, in Patagonia, Chile. This female was so used to his presence that one day she fell asleep nearby. On awakening, she glanced at him in a familiar way, and he was able to capture this portrait of a completely relaxed puma. (Image credit: Ingo Ardnt/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Inquisitive by Audan Rikardsen, Norway From a hide on the coast of northern Norway, it took Audun three years of planning to capture this majestic bird of prey in its coastal environment. After some time, the golden eagle became curious of the camera and seemed to like being in the spotlight. (Image credit: Audun Rikardsen/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Big ears by Valeriy Maleev, Russia Valeriy was on a summer expedition to the Mongolian part of the Gobi Desert when he happened upon a long-eared jerboa. As blood moves through the ears of these usually nocturnal animals, excess heat dissipates across the skin and so the jerboa is able to stay cool. (Image credit: Valeriy Maleev/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Winter’s tale by Valeriy Maleev, Russia Valeriy encountered this Pallas’s cat while it was out hunting in the Mongolian grasslands. It was -42°C (-44°F) on that frosty day, but the fairy tale scene cancelled out the cold. Pallas’s cats are no bigger than a domestic cat and they stalk small rodents, birds and occasionally insects. (Image credit: Valeriy Maleev/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Training session by Stefan Christmann, Germany When Stefan came across this penguin couple in Atka Bay, Antarctica, seemingly with an egg, he was surprised as it was too early in the season for egg-laying. Upon closer inspection he discovered the egg was a snowball! Perhaps the diligent couple were practicing egg transfer in preparation for when their real egg arrived. This is possibly the first time it has ever been witnessed and documented. (Image credit: Stefan Christmann /Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Bon appétit by Lucas Bustamente, Ecuador Night hikes through the Ecuadorian jungle are one of Lucas’ favourite activities. With a keen interest in herpetology, he was overjoyed to spot this labiated rainfrog which are abundant in the region. It had just caught a baby tarantula and its comical expression said ‘caught in the act!’ (Image credit: Lucas Bustamente/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The unwelcome visitor by Salvador Colvée Nebot, Spain Over several months, Salvador watched different species of bird use the dead flower spike of the agave in Valencia, Spain as a perch before descending to a small pond to drink. A pair of common kestrels were frequent visitors though each time they came magpies would hassle them. (Image credit: Salvador Colvée Nebot/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Mother knows best by Marion Volborn, Germany While on a bear-watching trip to the Nakina River in British Columbia, Canada Marion spotted a grizzly bear and her young cub approach a tree. The mother bear started to rub against the tree trunk and was followed shortly by the cub, imitating its mother. (Image credit: Marion Volborn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Beak to beak by Caludio Contreras Koob, Mexico Ría Lagartos Biosphere Reserve in the state of Yucatán is home to Mexico’s largest flock of Caribbean flamingos. This chick is less than five days old – it will stay in its nest less than a week before it joins a crèche of other youngsters who wander around the colony searching for food. (Image credit: Claudio Contreras Koob/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Teamwork by Jake Davis, USA Jake was on a boat off the coast of Great Bear Rainforest, British Columbia, Canada where he watched humpback whales bubble-et feeding. Here the leader whale dives to locate the fish, once the fish are located, the rest of the pod swim in decreasing circles while blowing bubbles which create a net, trapping the fish. (Image credit: Jake Davis/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

A pulsing sea by David Doubilet, USA A school of red tooth triggerfish form a cloud of silhouettesabovea river of convict blennies flowing over the coral in Verde Island Passage, Philippines. The Passage, a strait that separates the islands of Luzon and Mindoro, is one of the most productive marine ecosystems in the world. (Image credit: David Doubilet/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Dressed for dawn, Csaba Tökölyi, Hungary Csaba had been in a hide all night photographing nocturnal species and their activities, but as the golden light of dawn reflected on the surface of the water, an egret in wonderful breeding plumage stopped close by. The elongated scapular feathers covered the bird as if it was wearing a gown. (Image credit: Csaba Tökölyi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Losing the fight by Aaron Gekoski, UK Orangutans have been used in degrading performances at Safari World, Bangkok –and many other locations –for decades. The shows were temporarily stopped in 2004 due to international pressure, but today the shows continue – twice a day, every day –with hundreds of people paying to watch the orangutans box, dance, play the drums and more. (Image credit: Aaron Gekoski /Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The surrogate mother by Martin Buzora, Canada Elias Mugambi is a ranger at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in northern Kenya. He often spends weeks away from his family caring for orphaned black rhinos like Kitui here. The young rhinos are in the sanctuary as a result of poaching or because their mothers are blind and cannot care for them safely in the wild (Image credit: Martin Buzora/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Ocean’s signature by Angel Fitor, Spain Angel took this image in the waters off of Alicante, Spain. Immersed in a strong current, an otherwise slightly undulating salp chain twists and turning forming whimsical shapes. Salps move by contracting, which pumps water through their gelatinous bodies. (Image credit: Angel Fitor/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

A suitable gift by Marco Valentini, Italy Marco was in Hortobágyi National Park, Hungary when he spotted these kestrels displaying typical courtship behavior. Here the female has just recovered an offering of a young green lizard from her suitor and in this touching moment she tenderly took hold of his claw. (Image credit: Marco Valentini/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

What a poser by Clement Mwangi, Kenya In Kenya’s Maasai Mara National Reserve, Clement spent time observing this beautiful leopard as she soaked up the last warm rays of the setting sun. Clement is mindful to remember to take pleasure in life’s simple moments –being all too aware that sometimes, as a wildlife photographer, you can miss the exceptional while looking for the unusual. (Image credit: Clement Mwangi/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

The humpback calf by Wayne Osborn, Australia Wayne spotted this male humpback calf and its mother while diving off the Vava’u Island group in the Kingdom of Tonga. The calf kept a curious eye on Wayne as it twisted and turned before returning to its mother periodically to suckle. She was relaxed and motionless 20 meters (65 feet) below. (Image credit: Wayne Osborn/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Meeting place by Yaz Loukhal, France After a rough journey by sea to the remote Snow HillIsland off the east coast of the Antarctic Penisula, Yaz flew by helicopter and then trekked through thick snow to reach the emperor penguin colony. His efforts were rewarded with this incredible view of the whole colony. (Image credit: Yaz Loukhal/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

Spot the reindeer by Francis De Andres, Spain The conditions for photographing at the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard are extreme, but wildlife has adapted to the environment and its freezing temperatures. Francis found this composition of white arctic reindeer, which were observing him, both curious and charming. (Image credit: Francis De Andres/Wildlife Photographer of the Year)

You can see the overall winners of this year's competition at the NHM Wildlife Photographer of the Year website

The book featuring the 2019 winner is now on sale - Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2019: Portfolio 29 is now on sale costing £25 / $39.95.

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Chris George

Chris George has worked on Digital Camera World since its launch in 2017. He has been writing about photography, mobile phones, video making and technology for over 30 years – and has edited numerous magazines including PhotoPlus, N-Photo, Digital Camera, Video Camera, and Professional Photography. 

His first serious camera was the iconic Olympus OM10, with which he won the title of Young Photographer of the Year - long before the advent of autofocus and memory cards. Today he uses a Nikon D800, a Fujifilm X-T1, a Sony A7, and his iPhone 11 Pro.

He has written about technology for countless publications and websites including The Sunday Times Magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Dorling Kindersley, What Cellphone, T3 and Techradar.