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Story of a lioness

Story of a lioness
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-08-16
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Digital ISO 400
Exposure: f/4, 1/60 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park 1, CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2009-08-21 1:02
Viewed: 3765
Points: 58
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Lioness / Panthera leo

We decided to go out to the iMfolozi game reserve on Sunday and Loot arranged with a friend to use his Vito so that we as a family can spent the day together in one vehicle. It is great if one person spots an animal or bird and points it out to the rest of the group, rather than driving in more than one vehicle and missing out on the interaction with one another. It also makes the trip more sociable and enjoying, discussing what one saw and appreciating the nature and wildlife together.

Our eldest son's girlfriend has never been to a game reserve, and we were hoping to encounter a variety of different animals to show her. Unfortunately we did not come across some of the larger animals like elephant or buffalo from close by. The whole day we were hoping to see lion, but later on it seemed our hope for that was also fading.

At one lookout point we got out of the vehicle, and I was very lucky to find a bee-eater in a tree that I could approach and photograph from relative close up. I took 2 shots, when my son who was looking through the binocular said in a husky and slightly rattled voice, "Mom, if I was you, I'd get into the car, as there is a lion across the ravine." A bit upset because my photographic opportunity was spoiled I said "Don't joke about this kind of thing." The next moment we heard a roar, and like flash we were all inside the vehicle. This just shows that even at the designated areas one have to be very alert, because there are no rules telling the animals that they are not allowed to be in that specific area.

As we drove through the park we saw giraffe, zebra, impala, kudu, blue wildebeest, nyala, warthog, baboon, monkeys and some lovely birds. I was very fortunate to photograph the Lilac Breasted Roller and as said earlier the Bee-eater. These are 2 birds that have been on my wishing list for some time and at last I had the opportunity to photograph these colourful and most spectacular birds.

It was nearly time to leave the park when we saw a "chaotic vehicle pileup" and we straight away knew we must have hit the jackpot to encounter some or another of the big cats. During the years that we have been visiting the game parks we knew, when there is a traffic jam of this scale, there must be one of the big cats in the vicinity. Coming closer we could not believe our eyes, as right in front of us and about 4 meters away from this lioness, a lady was very excitedly standing outside of her car while taking photos. Now that is not something one can call "wise" and there are signage all over the place that prohibits this kind of behaviour. The obvious dangers speaks for itself as these are not tame kitties that just love to pose to tourists, but they will kill and eat tourist who recklessly presents themselves as a quick meal. Two times Loot reprimanded her saying "Lady, don't be stupid, get back into your car." Some of the other onlookers were not as decent as Loot and one foreign lady actually cursed and shouted at her to get back into the car. She was quite upset and near hysterical, while the "brave" but rather "stupid" photographer seemed just as upset, because her photographic moment was ruined with people shouting at her to get back into the car. As it turned out there were 3 lionesses in the grass about 4-6 metres away from this daft photographer and they gave clear indication of the fact that they were on the prey as they continuously lifted their heads and sniffed the air. If any one of the lionesses decided to attack this lady, she would not even have had the time to say "nice kitty" before she would have become the prey.

Pardon me for calling this lady stupid, but that is the most idiotic thing one can do when you are in the game reserve. It was only a minute or two after this situation when the one lioness passed across the road, right in front of the ladies car. This is the same one in my image. The quality of the shot is not as good as I would have liked it to be as it was becoming rather dark and the adrenalin was pumping. The combination of my trembling and the slow shutter speed and the fact that I took this shot over Loot's shoulder from were I was sitting behind him in the Vito did not add up to a perfect opportunity.

The strange (or surprising) twist to this story (and this is where the current South African state of affairs comes to play) is that after the lionesses disappeared this lady (who by the way was an Indian dame) stopped next to our vehicle and accused Loot for being a racist. Loot's surprised reaction was a mere "What?" after which she went on to shout that if she was white then Loot wouldn't have addressed her in the same manner. Clearly shocked, Loot then explained to her that he couldn't care less whether she was pink, black, brown or white as it did not change anything to the fact that her actions was totally stupid and she should rather be thankful that he probably saved her life. The situation could at any moment turned into a terrible tragedy and if nobody said anything then she (or her family including her husband who sat beside her while not saying a word) would most likely blame all the onlookers for not doing anything about it by warning her. The burning question is: "How did the race or racism card become a part of this brainless episode?"

It is a pity that this had to be part of my story, but that is how it happened and that is what I had to reflect upon. If just one other person who reads this and in future visits one of our lovely game parks remembers and therefore remains within the safety of the vehicle, then I have succeeded in possibly saving another life. These are not tame animals. It is wild animals and all you can trust it to be is wild and unpredictable.

As you can see, there is no information about lions in my notes, but I thought I'll rather tell you my story and the thrilling experience we had on our outing. If you really want to know a bit more about lions, it is very easy to just type the word "lion" in the search option and you will find ample information. I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

PaulH, PeterZ, goatman04, viv, parasbhalla, nazirbadar, bahadir, zulfu, boreocypriensis, Noisette, CeltickRanger, briGG, anel, roges, GLEM, sranjan, peter_stoeckl, pilonm has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2009-08-21 1:28]

Hi Anna,one of the most beautiful portrait of a lioness never seen!! What a fantastic moment to take the pic,the lioness seem think...think..and think....impressive sharpness and beautifuls colors too.Thanks to show us this wonderful shot,have a nice day,LUCIANO

Anna, the next time you see someone breaking the rules in one of our Parks, simply take a photo and report them, as easy as that.
This is probably the best portrait of a lioness that I have ever seen, and that says it all!
Well done!

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2009-08-21 3:23]

Hi Anna,
i am shocked by the stupid behaviour of this woman, and also here reactionary attitiude towards Loot who by the sounds of did indeed save her from potentially becoming a snack for the Lioness!
Anyway, a very nice portrait, love the expression on her face, she has beautiful yet scary eyes.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-08-21 6:34]

Hello Anna,
Stupid to get out of a car in a game reserve. I was in many African countries in many game reserves, but such a stupid thing I've never seen. Everywhere it's forbidden to get out of cars, also from open cars. iMfolozi game reserve is fascinating.
Beautiful frontal portrait in good natural colours.

Hallo Anna,

This is an excellent shot of a lioness with such wild beauty, sharpness & fine details. One can see that this lioness had all her instinctive pose & readiness for the attack to kill mode. Those sharp eyes, ears, nose are all pointed towards the prey target.

It looks like the lioness had 2 gashes/wounds around her right shoulder area.

A beautiful shot & nicely done with care. Enjoyed reading your interesting notes.

Best regards


  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2009-08-21 7:01]

Hello Anna,
What a story and what a "stupid" crazy woman you met. And also the reaction to Loot is a shame.
Never the less I love your of this beautifull lady.


Hello Anna,

Beautiful closeup capture of the lioness, rather a great portrait, I must quote! Wonderful natural colors of the lioness are well shown with great sharpness and from a very nice POV. The DOF is very fine.
Thanks for sharing!

Wish you a great weekend ahead!

Paras Bhalla

Hello Anna,
Lioness staring at something.
Looking tired probably due to last nights fight,and wound is the proof.
Picture is excellently composed with great timing.

Excellent shot Anna. i loved its facial expression.
TFS and regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2009-08-21 12:34]

Hello Anna,
Beautiful shot of this magnificent cat with nice details and composition.
TFS and G's,

Hi Anna.
Beautiful portrait with a great details..Well focused and and very good pose ....Excellent picture...Simple....impressive....TFS.

Hi Anna,

A perfect and awesome capture of this magnificent beauty with an impeccable clarity, focus and composition.
TFS and Have a nice WE!


Hello Anna
I have read your note and i am always surprised of the stupidity of some people like this lady, she was absolutely not conscious of the great danger and her reaction to your husband is much more stupid

this is a great shot of this beutiful lioness, i like her look, the details are very sharp and the colors are natural
have a great WE

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2009-08-21 18:46]

Hi Anna,
What a story!
Anyway, this is such a lovely portrait of a lioness...
She has such a pensive look about her.
Beautiful, beautiful face.
I love her!
TFS. : )

That is an interesting story Anna... one that unfortunately is often reenacted wherever wild animals are accessible to the public. Here people seem to think that because it is a "park" the bison won't charge and the grizzlies won't attack? It's really amazing.

You managed a fine shot of the lioness... sharp and well exposed. One can find oneself in some interesting positions taking photos from a vehicle... draped over somebody's lap or shoulder. You did well.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2009-08-23 1:12]

Hi Anna,
very special shot of the lion.A lovely portrait in great sharpness and pose. you have the opportunity and i dont have. yet i feel as if im with your group enjoying the beauty of nature.
well presented shot.
thanks for sharing this excellent image.


hi Anna

Sometime ago, I mentioned to you about this and now I give a link to this blind person who writes his own music, compose, sing and perform it.

You are My Eyes [in Chinese], it touched me very powerfully every time I hear it

Kind regards, bill

hello Anna

excellent and beautiful portrait photo of the Lioness,
with fine POV and DOF, fine focus excellent sharpness and details,



  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2009-08-25 2:59]

Hello Anna,

Your text is as important as the picture! Great association!
Thank you for the both


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2009-08-25 4:01]

Hello Anna,
Yes, this lioness doesn't look tame at all and I would never tempt the devil.. interesting story on stupid human behaviour. In my country the same happened with a wild bear, people believing that it's just some pet to cuddle. Despite the difficulty to take your picture, it's a well done portrait of a proud lioness.
Thanks also for your kind words on my last picture.
I wish you a nice day
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2009-08-25 9:38]

Hello Anne,

I came back! After a few days of holidays are here again.
A picture that we are proposing today is excellent. Very interesting and description provided.
Have a beautiful evening,

  • Great 
  • GLEM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 540 W: 87 N: 750] (10)
  • [2009-08-25 13:41]

hi Anna,
veru nice shot of this lioness. I like natural colors and fine details. Nice history in your note.


A dsetacar sin ninguna duda esa mirada tan penetrante y perdida en el infinito. Buen encuadre y bien plasmados los colores. Aunque sea ligerísimamente creo que está algo movida, sin que ello reste apenas belleza al conjunto.
Saludos Anna: Josep Ignasi.

hello Anna
thanks for your kind comments
this picture is very good
great to see a lion real in nature
great details of the head and the wound on his bag
super shot
greeting lou

Hello Anna,
Great details of the African lioness with wonderful expressions. She is all set to charge the target to which she is locked on. I have gone through the details of your notes & have appreciated every word you chose to describe the event. Thanks for sharing with TN family.

Hello Anna,
wise and alert looking lioness captured in perfect pose under difficult light and adrenaline conditions, and delivered with excellent cropping for perfect composition.
What a fascinating trip. Envying you for those opportunities to see African wildlife in genuine habitat right around the corner.
Gripping story on the broad spectre of human behaviour. What a piece of work is man. To some extent, we might be able to foresee a lion's next step. But we never can tell a human being.
Another great contribution from you - thank you! And all the best to you and your family!
With best regards,

P.S.: Thank you very much for your visit and very kind words to that butterfly on top of a rock.

  • Great 
  • pilonm Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 588 W: 90 N: 975] (3321)
  • [2009-09-02 11:55]

Hello Anna,

I'm 100% with you and Loot about the way you reacted! This lady was very stupid, indeed!!!

For the picture I love it with its imperfections! It looks like a painting and the look of the lion is so deep! I also like the way you compose it with the lion well anchored from the bottom left of the frame. Excellent exposition also.

I really like the result!

Good work!


Hellow Anna,
Well what a stupid women obviously no idea of the speed and power of these wonderful beasts.Should have a taken a pic of her for the observer. Anyway back to the lioness, this is a National Geographic quality shot. Brilliant natural lighting on the lioness with exceptional detail and sharpness. The stare of her eyes are awsome, obviously spotting the environment.Well done Anna and once again brilliant photo,

  • Great 
  • henkv (67)
  • [2009-11-17 8:12]

Baie mooi foto van 'n besonderse dame

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