An astonishing image submitted to a wildlife photography contest features a zebra being swallowed whole by a crocodile. The contest focuses on the Maasai Mara savannahs in Kenya.
The picture shows the giant croc sticking out of the water, with an entire zebra lodged in its jaws. Although clearly moments away from death, the image seems to show the zebra struggling to escape.
That wasn’t the only life-or-death moment captured by contestants. The winning shot showed a similar scene, with a lion hunting a young hippo. Photographer Harry Collins captured his winning shot moments before the lion settled in for his meal. His award for the breathtaking image was $10,000 and a five-night safari. There were fifty finalists in the contest.
The judge, Adam Bannister, had only words of awe for the winning image. “This is one of those sightings and images, that makes you stop in your tracks – you stare at it for ages and can literally feel the power, tension, struggle and emotion. A truly remarkable image.”
The Greatest Maasai Mara Photographers of the Year competition was started to help fundraise for conservation initiatives. Each year, the best entries are showcased globally. The goal is to continue to raise awareness about the Maasai Mara and the photographers who capture daily life there.
Wild Fights With Wild Animals
Although our poor zebra friend didn’t make it past the jaws of its attacker, there’s still hope in the animal kingdom! Crocodiles may be surprised to find their would-be prey fighting back and winning, but it does happen.
In October, a video went around on social media showing an elephant repeatedly stomping a crocodile. Although not confirmed, many think the elephant was trying to protect its young. The elephant continued to trample, drag, and maybe even bite the croc until it died. The video is courtesy of a safari group traveling through the area. What a sight to see.
Elephants aren’t the only animal willing to pick a fight with a croc. The winning photo of the Greatest Maasai Mara Photographers of the Year contest may show a hippo about to be lion chow, but hippos submitting is not the norm. Hippos can be downright scary. This video of hippos eating a crocodile just proves how ruthless they can be.
Hippos have no issues fighting anyone and anything that comes their way. Surprising behavior from these otherwise adorable herbivores? Not really. Their territorial instinct makes them ready to fight at a moment’s notice. Animals often make the mistake of traveling through a hippo’s land. In fact, so do humans. Some 500 people a year die from hippo attacks. If you’re somewhere a hippo might be, you should probably back away slowly.
On the topic of being near animals we probably shouldn’t be, congrats to all the finalists of the Photographers of the Year contest – for having amazing photos and for not getting eaten.