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I am working on a long-term project photographing lions in the Mara North Conservancy in Kenya. This morning, I had followed the entire Serian pride as they crossed their territory. Just as the pride emerged onto an open plain, the lionesses spotted a family of warthogs and gave chase. The warthogs had a big head-start and soon disappeared down a hole. I thought the chase was over. However, to my surprise, the lionesses quickly pulled three piglets out of the hole. As I approached, I then saw that the lions were trying to pull the mother warthog out of the hole as well; it seemed the hole had been too shallow to safely harbour all of the warthogs. Soon the male lion became involved and helped dig and haul the mother warthog out. Over the past weeks, I had habituated the lions to my BeetleCam (remote control camera buggy) so I knew with confidence that I could deploy it and it would not disturb the lions as they dug out the warthogs. I was able to position the camera on the lip of the hole and capture this intimate image as the male lion finally succeeded in grabbing hold of the mother warthog.
By Will Burrard-Lucas, entered in aid of the Mara Elephant Project