A Favorite moment: Not all Lions are welcome

Photographing fighting lions

Photographing fighting lions is actually quiet difficult. Just the odds of finding lions that are not a sleep during the day is hard enough. So the sighting that my group of photographers experienced, was part stroke of luck and part skill.

Not all lions are welcome

One thing I have learnt from my years of guiding photographers is that light in the mornings always deteriorates. Compared to light in the afternoons which always improves (up until that sunsets). So mornings are often best spent around camp photographing common species that are easier to find. Its the best way to utilize the morning golden hour. This morning we lucked out, we had found lions on a kill before sunrise.

As we sat there, it became apparent that there was an uneasiness to the scene. Something was not right. The lioness trying to feed with the male lions was not part of this pride and she was actually a long way off from where she should be. Now the males were tolerate her up to a point, its not really in there interest to kill a potential mate. What else was apparent was that we were 2 lionesses missing from the pride that does reside in this territory. They had 3 week old cubs and we suspect that had either gone but to nurse them or had collected them to bring to the buffalo carcuss. The latter turned out to be true.

When chaos reigns

The return of the 2 missing lioness, changed everything. They appeared over the small rise to the west with their cubs. The moment they saw the intruder feeding on their kill, all hell broke loose. It was at this moment when the one male lion also went onto the attack and the next 20 minutes was spent fighting and roaring … I will let the images tell the remainder of the story …

Photograph Details

Filename: Not all Lions are welcome.jpg
Gear: Fujifilm XT2 + 50-140mm f/2.8 XF lens
Exposure: 1/1250 sec;   f/2.8;   ISO 800
Copyright: Copy right Etienne Oosthuizen photography

Location : Makanyi Timbavati, while on location for Africa Photographic Services.

4 replies
    • Etienne Oosthuizen
      Etienne Oosthuizen says:

      At the time we, we were not sure. As all of the resident lions went after her. A few days later that lioness was seen again, looking very battered but alive. Few weeks later she was seen again and in much better health.

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