Vicki Santello

Camera: Canon R5

Lens: RF 100-500 f/4.5-7.1

Aperture: f/6.3

Shutter speed: 1/2000

ISO: 2500

Description: An alpha male lion drags the hide of what was a baby giraffe clamped in his powerful jaws unwilling to let go of the trophy even though it is stripped bare.

Story from behind the lens: The kill was made sometime during the night and when I arrived at dawn, the entire pride was still feeding. Within a few hours the skeleton was stripped bare. This male, co leader of the pride, carried the hide across the grass into the bushes leaving the bones and scraps to hyenas, jackals and vultures. The portrait of the lion tells the story of his physical strength as well as the more subtle story of the commingling of his luxurious mane and the scruffier mane of the what was the giraffe. I was struck that, even though the manes are different textures, they are very similar in color. Perhaps a metaphor for how Life and Death is inextricably connected in Nature? I got the low angle image by laying on the floor of a safari vehicle, doors off.