A sedated zebra is lifted by a helicopter at a Texas ranch called Sexy Whitetails, near San Angelo. The zebra is one of approximately a million exotic animals that populate ranches across the state. The animals are frequently bought, sold, and traded among ranches. Many are available for hunters to kill, for hefty prices.
(From “A behind-the-scenes look at Texas’ exotic animal ranches,” July 2020.)
- Photo Gallery
These are our best animal photos of 2020
Honeybees slurp water and chimps stalk a Ugandan village in these striking pictures selected by National Geographic editors.
The photo shows insects crawling across a white sheet in the Arizona wilderness. It’s nighttime and the sheet is illuminated with light, attracting critters that populate the Chiricahua Mountains—green stink bugs, sphinx moths, and others. To most of us, the photo appears to capture a menagerie of life. To scientists, it represents loss: Years ago in these mountains, you’d find many more species of insects, and rarer ones, crawling across the sheet. They’re gone now.
The photograph, by David Liittschwager, is a snapshot of a mass insect decline that’s reverberating across the globe. National Geographic photo editors chose it as one of our 26 best animal photos of the year.
Many of the chosen photos feature species that aren’t commonly seen,