This is the lead female of a pack of African wild dogs living in South Africa's Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve. Out of three litters, only one of her pups has survived. Predators got the rest, along with two of her mates. It's little surprise, then, that she is constantly alert. This, combined with the dense mopani vegetation, made photography a challenge. That Neil was able to get so close was by working alongside researchers studying the reserve's single pack and by lying on the tailgate of his Land Rover to get the low angle. The female's vigilance may help her protect her lone pup, but her endangered and persecuted species has declined to fewer than 5000 individuals scattered across a once vast range.
Canon EOS 1D Mark III + 400mm f2.8 lens + 1.4x converter; 1/800 sec at f4; ISO 200.
Venetia Limpopo Nature Reserve, Limpopo, South Africa