For its latest Your Shot assignment, called "The Animals We Love," National Geographic is asking readers to show their passion for the creatures we share the world with. "This assignment is about ... photographing from the heart," Robin Schwartz, Fine Art/Editorial Photographer and curator of the assignment, said in the prompt. "Your approach can range from creating an intimate portrait that communicates the distinct personality of an animal to photographing your observations of an animal within a landscape, on the street, in parks, or in zoos." The assignment wraps up June 23; here are 10 incredible images readers have submitted so far.
1. Baby Elephant
Photo and caption by Julia Cumes, National Geographic Your Shot
"I met this baby elephant while documenting a baby elephant rehabilitation/release program in Assam, India. He had lost his mother in a flood. I spent a lot of time with him and became quite attached. When I finally had to leave, I turned around one more time to look at the building that housed him and saw he had got up on his hind legs and was looking out the window at me. His expression was so strikingly human in that moment and I saw in his eyes something universal and profoundly expressive."
2. The Cat and the Rat
"Perhaps our cat Sonic was just too old, or too lazy to care about primal instinct. Or perhaps, Rosy the Rat was too blind, or too naive to worry about fear. Or perhaps ... there are no rules when it comes to love within a family."
3. What Does the Fox Say?
"I am a big fan of foxes and when I had the chance to rescue a female cub (she is the second one, the other one is male), I could not resist. In this picture she is about 12 weeks old. She is living in the house and when she will be big enough I will move her to the outside cage where the other fox is living. She had three brothers and by now most probably they are not having a good time as she has if they are alive at all. I know what most people think: she should live in the wild."
4. Cat Carriage
"Cat lover carrying his pets through the Hiroshima streets."
5. Oh, Deer
"In the surroundings of Kyoto you can find the village of Nara. In it, all temples and parks are loaded with wild and free deer. You can touch and feed them. It's amazing the respect and care people here have with both animals and plants.
"In this picture you can see a group of students visiting one of the main temples in the city sharing with the deer as if they were another of their classmates."
6. Holy Cow
"Having a sick cow in the herd affects any farmer deeply and even though this farmer has over 400 head of cattle, he can quickly asses which are sick and bring these out for treatment—he knows every single one, he raised every one of them. To calm his cows during treatment, he sits on it."
7. Bottle-fed Fish
"In Asia, it is a common sight to see people feed golden fishes like we feed pigeons in Europe—the idea is to create harmonious shapes by throwing food in chosen spots—or to have fun. Babybottle fish feeding is a popular attraction.
8. A Horse is a Horse
"On arrival at Jonathan's Lodge in Sehlabathebe National Park, Lesotho, our horses took to celebrating liberation from their burdens. With the backdrop of 'The Devil's Knuckles' and the afternoon’s glow how could I not take advantage? Up close using Canon's EF 10-22mm wide angle."