Big 5s

Paul Goldstein

Photographer

“Picking a Number One from such esteemed animals is never going to be easy. Jaguars and leopards have both obsessed and haunted me with their enigmatic character and elusiveness for years. I have a connection with Bengal tigers, fuelled by admiration and rage, and I’ve spent over 20 years raising money for them. Polar bears on ice are just breathtaking but they all come up just short.

When you guide, you can have a lot of downtime to occupy, and however much pious dullards may rabbit on about grazing ruminants and distant herds, as well as catatonic lions, the cheetah is the species that can drag you from that torpor. It gives the best value, especially a mother with cubs. They cannot compete with nocturnal and crepuscular competition, like hyenas and bigger cats, and they struggle to hang onto hard-won kills, to say nothing of their suffering from a narrow bloodline and land encroachment.

Cheetahs need open plains, and the broad grasslands of the Mara Conservancies in Kenya are the best place to see them. Not as strong as a leopard or lion, and lacking the stamina of a jackal or hyena, cheetahs have one blistering faculty: speed. They are anatomically engineered to maximise this.

I have seen hundreds of hunts. To witness this sinewy feline uncoil it’s spring-like torso and explode across the Mara towards an unwitting quarry is the most incredible sight in nature. Thankfully, it can take many tortured, yet fascinating, hours to happen, occupying those long hours where other animals have thrown in the towel. There will never be the perfect hunting image, nor should there be, but who cares? These spotted sprinters get my vote.”

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Photo by Paul Goldstein

My Big 5

    Cheetah
    Leopard
    Jaguar
    Polar Bear
    Bengal Tiger

Paul Goldstein

Photographer

“Picking a Number One from such esteemed animals is never going to be easy. Jaguars and leopards have both obsessed and haunted me with their enigmatic character and elusiveness for years. I have a connection with Bengal tigers, fuelled by admiration and rage, and I’ve spent over 20 years raising money for them. Polar bears on ice are just breathtaking but they all come up just short.

When you guide, you can have a lot of downtime to occupy, and however much pious dullards may rabbit on about grazing ruminants and distant herds, as well as catatonic lions, the cheetah is the species that can drag you from that torpor. It gives the best value, especially a mother with cubs. They cannot compete with nocturnal and crepuscular competition, like hyenas and bigger cats, and they struggle to hang onto hard-won kills, to say nothing of their suffering from a narrow bloodline and land encroachment.

Cheetahs need open plains, and the broad grasslands of the Mara Conservancies in Kenya are the best place to see them. Not as strong as a leopard or lion, and lacking the stamina of a jackal or hyena, cheetahs have one blistering faculty: speed. They are anatomically engineered to maximise this.

I have seen hundreds of hunts. To witness this sinewy feline uncoil it’s spring-like torso and explode across the Mara towards an unwitting quarry is the most incredible sight in nature. Thankfully, it can take many tortured, yet fascinating, hours to happen, occupying those long hours where other animals have thrown in the towel. There will never be the perfect hunting image, nor should there be, but who cares? These spotted sprinters get my vote.”

Photo by Paul Goldstein

My Big 5

    Cheetah
    Leopard
    Jaguar
    Polar Bear
    Bengal Tiger

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