Heather Cudworth

Camera: Canon EOS R5

Lens: RF100-500mm F4.5-7.1 L IS USM

Aperture: ƒ/5.0

Shutter speed: 1/2000

ISO: 320

Description: Lions fight in a territorial brawl.

Story from behind the lens: While on a morning game drive, we came across a young pride of lions with three males and two females. They appeared to have recently finished an over night meal and were making their way across the plains. As the sun was getting higher in the sky, our guide knew the lions were looking for shade. He drove ahead of the lions to a nearby tree so we could take advantage of the photo-op and capture images of them walking towards us. We were surprised to find two female lions already enjoying shade under the tree. We thought they may have been part of the pride of five but it was quickly apparent that the two lounging lions were not happy to welcome their approaching guests. As the five walked closer, the males began scent marking the tree. The two females huddled together and began growling making their feelings of unrest and apprehension known. The rest of the pride arrived and a fight immediately broke out right in front of our truck! Five-Against-Two! The sound was deafening as the lions snarled, roared, and slapped each other. Spit flying and claws tearing; it was the most intense wildlife moment I have ever witnessed! As quickly as it started, it ended with the females from the pride of five chasing off the unwelcomed two.