Jaw-dropping animal snaps as creatures great and small photographed in Belfast zoo contest
These are some of the wild and wonderful images captured at Belfast Zoo as part of its annual photographic competition, writes Amanda Ferguson.
The captivating creatures that call Belfast Zoological Gardens home have been caught on camera by budding and amateur photographers in its 30th annual event.
The zoo, which opened in 1934 and is located on the Antrim Road, welcomes more than 300,000 visitors each year.
The 2013 competition attracted more than 400 entries, with an awards ceremony at the weekend.
Among the winners was Belfast club photographer Gareth O'Cathain, who was victorious in the overall competition with his picture of a Red panda.
Zoo manager, Mark Challis, said he is always overwhelmed by the high standard of entries.
"2013 is a particularly special year for Belfast Zoo's annual photographic competition, as it is the 30th year," he said.
"I would like to congratulate our winners and thank everyone who entered."
Belfast Zoo hit the headlines earlier this month when six lion-tailed macaques escaped and went walkabout in north Belfast.
Meanwhile, the true story of a Northern Ireland woman who kept a Belfast Zoo baby elephant in her garden during WW2 is to be made in to a £5m movie – Zoo.
FACTFILE: THE WINNERS
Best club photograph: Gareth O'Cathain
Best picture taken by a zoo visitor: Dominic Hannon
Best black and white photograph: Phillip Hutton
Best funny caption: Susan Kelly
Best picture taken by someone under 16: Fiona Beattie