Posted by: Andrew Skelton | 22/08/2011

I’m not lion…


I do have to concede after my rather scathing attack on the royal lineage of the Lion in regards to the Jungle domain, that Panthera Leo does indeed need to be taken into consideration for the running as King. Today’s picture was taken “off piste” at Dartmoor Zoo, having won a competition I was shown all around the park by the Zoo’s Business manager, Alex and allowed into areas that aren’t accessibly to the public. To get to the spot where this photo was taken we had to venture through the lion’s indoor enclose. Before entering the building, we were given very strict instructions as to how to behave in whilst traversing the enclosure and to in no way get near to the bars as well as to be prepared for a loud commotion when entering. Loud was a bit of an understatement – my adrenaline went into overdrive, not something you particularly want when photographing but incredibly exhilarating.

Once through, with the creatures still indoors, we set ourselves up so we would be in a good position to photograph the male lion after he was let out with his afternoon meal. When let loose he dutifully obeyed and took up position directly in front of our vantage point, unperturbed by our presence. Even with the caging between us, it was still a thrilling experience, these are after all wild creatures… very wild.

This picture looks like there’s some form of lighting on it – there wasn’t, I wouldn’t have used a flash near it – too dangerous. There was a modicum of sun and for that brief moment I rattled off enough photos – this one really captures the intensity of the animal – his hair even resembles mine (though i have more grey).

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  1. How to dance with your next meal.


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