Top shot

This stunning shot of a young male orang utan within its forest home at Gunung Palung National Park in Indonesia has won Mr Tim Laman a Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2016 award.

Called Entwined Lives, the image shows the great ape making a 30m climb up the thickest root of a strangler fig that has wrapped itself around a tree rising high above the canopy. The site lies in what is one of the few protected areas left for these critically endangered creatures on the island of Borneo.

The animal relies on a mental map to navigate this huge vista and to find trees that might have a crop of figs. Mr Laman knew this orang utan was likely to return to this tree as it had feasted there before.

As there was no way for it to reach the fruits other than by making this dizzying climb, the photographer was able to position several GoPro cameras in advance - after making a three-day climb himself.

He could trigger the cameras remotely to capture not only a wide-angle view of the forest, but also the orang utan's face from above.

The photography award is given by London's Natural History Museum each year for works that raise awareness of the beauty and the delicate balance that exist in the natural world.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2016, with the headline 'Top shot'. Print Edition | Subscribe