WPY 2011

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2011

Behaviour: Mammals

Eric Pierre, France

The charge

Eric had been tracking Arctic wolves on Victoria Island, Canada, when his guide spotted a herd of muskoxen some 5 kilometres (3 miles) away. Approaching, Eric could see that the herd was nervous, probably because wolves were also on its trail. So he made a detour and stopped about 1km (half a mile) away upwind. Suddenly, he realized that the herd was now running towards them, oblivious of them. 'I've seen muskoxen run away,' says Eric. 'I've seen them react to a threat by forming a circle, and I've even seen a male charge. But I've never seen a herd spread out into a charging line like this. I could hear the thundering of their hooves. It was one of those situations where it really mattered that I made the right choice between technical accuracy, aesthetics - and security.'

Technical specification

Nikon D700 + 500mm f4 lens; 1/2000 sec at f8; ISO 400; Gitzo carbon tripod + carbon Eki head.


Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada: latitude 70.45258, longitude -106.41622 Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada: latitude 70.45258, longitude -106.41622

Victoria Island, Nunavut, Canada

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Eric Pierre, France