WPY 2010

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2010

Behaviour: Mammals

Adrian Bailey, South Africa

The thoughtful baboon

Each morning, thousands of Cape turtle doves flock to a trickling seep at Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe, the only source of water for miles around. Birds of prey, meanwhile, line up in trees on nearby cliffs and pick off the drinking doves. Finding one of the victims on the ground close to the seep, and guessing it would be welcome booty for the chacma baboons already foraging nearby, Adrian set up his tripod in anticipation. This young male was the first to find the bird. 'He was almost circumspect, gazing at the body as though in deep thought,' says Adrian, 'unlike any other African carnivore, which would have been more likely to have grabbed the carcass and run off without a second thought.'

Technical specification

Nikon D2x + 500mm lens; 1/500 sec at f4; ISO 200; tripod.


Mana Pools National Park, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe: latitude -15.8483, longitude 29.3674 Mana Pools National Park, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe: latitude -15.8483, longitude 29.3674

Mana Pools National Park, Mana Pools, Zimbabwe

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Adrian Bailey, South Africa