Jotinder Sudan

Camera: Canon 5D Mk IV

Lens: Canon 100-400 mm IS II

Aperture: 5.6

Shutter speed: 1/640

ISO: 1000

Description: A baby Thomson Gazelle being chased by a lioness from Rongai Pride (Maasai Mara).

Story from behind the lens: At the break of the dawn on 30 July 2023, the Rongai Pride was disturbed by a herd of elephants who simply walked through the half asleep pride. The pride shook out of their slumber and started to move towards the bushes nearby. In the melee of elephants and lions moving about in the area, this young gazelle got separated from his mother and one of the lionesses (in the picture) spotted it.

The lioness went after the gazelle which ran for his life away from the pride and farther from its mother. The young gazelle gave a tough time to the lioness despite its small size. The lioness caught it but did not kill it. It slipped away, however, this time towards the pride, where the young cubs started to chase it. A heart wrenching run and end for the young gazelle, but (maybe) a good hunting practice for the lion cubs. What was interesting to see was that the male lion intervened and reprimanded a lioness and other sub-adults for interfering with the younger cubs trying to hunt and kill the young gazelle.

I saw the mother gazelle in the distance, turn away when she could no longer hear her baby's calls. We left the scene overwhelmed and with mixed feelings.