Big 5s

Anja Denker

Photographer

“I love lions wholeheartedly and I can’t imagine a world without them. To me, they symbolise Africa. Their sheer power, presence and beauty resonate deep in my heart. 

I can’t agree with statements saying that they sleep all hours of the day. They are opportunistic hunters and have surprised me so often by taking an opportunity to secure their next meal at the oddest hour of the day, often in the searing heat.

Watching them interact with each other, from the mischievous antics of cubs playing, stalking or giving their long suffering parents a hard time to the affectionate greeting and nuzzling between lionesses or any members of the pride after being fragmented for a while and joining up again, is always a very emotive affair and so rewarding to photograph.

I have spent countless hours in the heat of the day with sleeping lions, just soaking up their presence, without being bored.

One of the truly most beautiful golden blonde male lions I have ever seen was on Chief’s Island in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana. It was busy feasting on the remains of a baby giraffe. I’m not sure whether he caught the giraffe himself. It must have happened sometime during the night. We came across him at first light in the morning.  A couple of hungry hyenas were circling him as he was lying down, eating, and, all of a sudden, he got up with the neck piece of the giraffe, gave it a furious shake, scattering all the hyenas in the process as if to say, “Back off, it is all mine.” Although lions are always perceived as strong and indomitable, it is forgotten that they are also vulnerable.

Males have to defend their territories and forge alliances, which is a bloody business at the best of times. Lionesses have to fend for their cubs and defend them against all kinds of dangers and to secure food for themselves often under harsh conditions. But the ever-expanding human population is the biggest threat to lions worldwide.”

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Photo by Anja Denker

My Big 5

    Lions
    Leopard
    Spotted Hyena
    Elephant
    Honey Badger

Anja Denker

Photographer

“I love lions wholeheartedly and I can’t imagine a world without them. To me, they symbolise Africa. Their sheer power, presence and beauty resonate deep in my heart. 

I can’t agree with statements saying that they sleep all hours of the day. They are opportunistic hunters and have surprised me so often by taking an opportunity to secure their next meal at the oddest hour of the day, often in the searing heat.

Watching them interact with each other, from the mischievous antics of cubs playing, stalking or giving their long suffering parents a hard time to the affectionate greeting and nuzzling between lionesses or any members of the pride after being fragmented for a while and joining up again, is always a very emotive affair and so rewarding to photograph.

I have spent countless hours in the heat of the day with sleeping lions, just soaking up their presence, without being bored.

One of the truly most beautiful golden blonde male lions I have ever seen was on Chief’s Island in Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana. It was busy feasting on the remains of a baby giraffe. I’m not sure whether he caught the giraffe himself. It must have happened sometime during the night. We came across him at first light in the morning.  A couple of hungry hyenas were circling him as he was lying down, eating, and, all of a sudden, he got up with the neck piece of the giraffe, gave it a furious shake, scattering all the hyenas in the process as if to say, “Back off, it is all mine.” Although lions are always perceived as strong and indomitable, it is forgotten that they are also vulnerable.

Males have to defend their territories and forge alliances, which is a bloody business at the best of times. Lionesses have to fend for their cubs and defend them against all kinds of dangers and to secure food for themselves often under harsh conditions. But the ever-expanding human population is the biggest threat to lions worldwide.”

Photo by Anja Denker

My Big 5

    Lions
    Leopard
    Spotted Hyena
    Elephant
    Honey Badger

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