By Ben Mack /
January 25, 2020
Cougar mother and cub
Credit: Amit Eshel/

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Showing physical affection for loved ones isn't just a human thing — animals do it, too, including predators at the top of the food chain. At least, that's one takeaway from Israeli photographer Amit Eshel's image of a cougar cub appearing to hug its mother in Chile's Patagonia region, which is featured in Travel Photographer of the Year's 2019 selection.

Eshel's image, taken in Torres del Paine National park with a Canon EOS-1D X Mark II camera, depicts a cub of about four months old, one of four children of mother Rupestre. The photo of the tender moment was taken while Rupestre was on the hunt for prey in Patagonia.

Eshel's picture was judged as "Highly Commended" in the Endangered Planet category of the 2019 Travel Photographer of the Year competition. More than 20,000 images were submitted in the 2019 awards by professional and amateur photographers in 144 countries. Katy Gomez Catalina, an amateur photographer and doctor of veterinary science from Spain, was named the overall winner for her portfolio of black and white images from around the world, such as of the Batwa tribe in Lake Mutanda, Uganda.

Travel Photographer of the Year cofounder Chris Coe said: "Judging these awards, whilst arduous with so many excellent images to choose from, is always a joy and it is both exhilarating and stimulating to see the wealth of creativity evident from around the world."

Aside from being viewable online, the winning images will will go on display from April 7 to May 12 at Coal Drops Yard in London's King's Cross.