Paul Meek

Camera: Canon R5

Lens: RF100-500

Aperture: 6.3

Shutter speed: 1/6400

ISO: 1600

Description: The dominant males fight over the mating rights to the females in the pride.

Story from behind the lens: Lembal’ang and Ole Cook (brothers) of the Southern and Lemony Prides fight over mating rights in the Mara, Ol Kinyei Conservancy.

We had been photographing the playful cubs when all of sudden loud roars rang over us. Big cats were fighting. We all stopped and listened to find the direction of the source. I then spotted huge plumes of dust rise into the air. Without hesitation our guides were off, we raced to the scene.

Within seconds of our arrival to seeing 1 male, another came around the corner.

In a flash, with little time for preparation, battle recommenced, they met each other up on their hind legs, the power of each Lion was incredible, the sounds were guttural, the intensity of battle was unreal, teeth bared, claws out, fierce determination. One seemed stronger than the other, but other was cunning, targeting the face and eyes. As both became tired, a truce was called this time around. Time to breathe and recompose for the Lions and ourselves.

Seeing this live from a few feet provided an experience I will never forget. We were left shaking due to its ferocity.

Check out the unexpected reaction from one of the male lions in the heat of battle….

Afterwards they both went their separate ways with a female each!