Vicki Santello

Camera: Canon R5

Lens: RF100-500mm f/4.5-7.1

Aperture: f/6.3

Shutter speed: 1/800

ISO: 400

Description: A lioness and adult zebra lock into a "until-the-death" struggle with each making maximum effort against the other.

Story from behind the lens: A lioness ambushed a small herd of zebra crossing the Sand River and successfully grabbed one on the shore bank. The outcome of the struggle was not a foregone conclusion when the attack was initiated. The zebra put up a fierce defense, kicking its hooves and pushing back with impressive physical resistance while the lioness tried to stabilize them both by using her hind legs for traction. However, the double vise grip of the lioness' teeth and leg were too much for the zebra and she succumbed. I witnessed the chase in the riverbed from the shore in my safari vehicle and when the zebra came onto the shore, my guide Sammy, repositioned the vehicle to the location where the action was taking place. I took the image kneeling on the floor of the jeep, doors off, hand held.