WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Finalist 2017

Behaviour: Mammals

Michael Cohen, USA

Lions’ long shot

Peering through the rain, Michael spotted a captivating site, two lions hot on the hooves of a fully-grown male giraffe. Unable to remain detached, the scene connected with Michael. ‘Something draws me to life and death struggles in nature. It’s raw and emotional and a rare privilege to witness.’

This struggle is particularly unusual. Lions rarely attack giraffes as a single kick from their long, powerful legs could prove fatal. But as the hunt drew closer, Michael saw that this giraffe had misshapen hooves. This may have affected the giraffe’s ability to run, which could have attracted the lions’ attention.

Technical specification

Canon EOS-1D X; 100–400mm f4.5–5.6 lens; 1/1600 sec at f7.1; ISO 3200.


Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa: latitude -24.819527, longitude 18.775274 Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa: latitude -24.819527, longitude 18.775274

Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa

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Michael Cohen

Michael Cohen, USA

Michael took a photography class in college but only began pursuing wildlife photography seriously about 10 years ago. In 2016 he decided to devote himself to it full-time. He has always loved nature and believes he is lucky to have the opportunity to experience it first-hand, and see and photograph the natural beauty the world has to offer.