Nature takes its own course, we all know, but when a new life has to give in to others hunger, it’s heart-wrenching sight. These images show a raw nature.
On this planet, the life that thrives independently, which we called wildlife are driven by natural instinct. Many times, a new life just landed but never flourishes has given life to many becoming easy food. This real play of life and death unfolded right in front of me at the Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania when a nomad lioness looked out for easy prey and picked up a just newborn wildebeest cub.
In the wild, the game of survival is not moderated and it’s RAW.
It was my 3rd visit to Africa. The reason, African landscape is often touted as the land to witness a thousand miracles, and I second that. Not that it doesn’t happen elsewhere but the unobstructed angle of view is really wide and open here; hence, I also chose to use wide-angle frame more and more. All the Images of this event that unfolded in split-second are shot using special photo techniques, angle, utilizing natural light and positing myself to get the extra effect, and it’s less about gears used.
Ngrongoro Crater floor (260 sq km) is a volcanic bowl that erupted and settled 2-3 million years ago which is a bed for mass animal paradise and undoubtedly a wonder in the world today. Also, next to it is another site called Olduvai George which is known for the early human evolution (Homo Habilis & Hominaide). So its a landmark of natural history and raw nature is preserved there. These images bear the story of two lion sisters, separated from the pride who were visibly hungry.
Lions that are out of their group or they have been pushed away for various reasons need to fend for themselves. This is when they go through the test of life being solitary. It can be deadly without having their group hunting cover/technique, and many succumb to this challenge. Most of the prey can outrun them on this open grassland.
It was the wildebeest calving season and a large number of wildebeest was present inside the crater with their cubs, but at the same time, we saw there were nomad lions and lioness all around, at least three places – these were separated folks. During my 1st visit (2016) also I saw a similar number of nomads inside the crater, which made me believe that they are deliberately selecting this place for easy prey. The crater is very dense with animals and covered by the crater wall. It’s like a small animal kingdom inside a bowl. Inside this, two lionesses which I called lion sisters, most likely so, was prowling and hungry visibly. We followed; wildebeest were all around and thought they’re chasing them. As we get closer, I realized that one lioness has already grabbed something on the ground and raked up a little mock fight with her sister who immediately moved away and parked herself some 100 meters away. As we maneuver to position ourselves, the 1st lioness stood up and walked towards us to reach her sister but carried a wildebeest newborn cub in its jaw. The Lioness who picked up the wildebeest cub was not interested to share the kill initially with her sister, clearly, it was not enough for herself. But, after some time she changed her mind and peacefully pass on the kill to her sister (see the video). It makes more sense to live together than alone, and they knew it well.
It was a sight, painful to see, but at the same time, I could feel two life could probably flourish at the cost of this new life that never flourished.
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