Maasai Mara, Kenya
You expect it to be noisy. Maybe a scream piercing the night air as the hunt came to its inevitable conclusion. Possibly a roar announcing a successful hunt.
Instead, the night air is punctuated by silence.
A twilight hunt on the Maasai Mara plains.
There is no struggle, no sound, only resignation.
The goal - bring the elan to the ground.
The pride waits patiently. Time is on their side.
Death comes by suffocation.
A young male cradles the elan's head smothering it until death comes.
A lioness, full from the kill, walks away the next morning.
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In this harsh land, lions, leopards and cheetah compete in a never ending struggle to find food. Some nights, the hunt is good, while others, the pride goes hungry.
Once found throughout Africa, Asia and India, the species is considered "vulnerable" due, possibly, to loss of habitat and interactions with humans. For the lions of the Mara, their world is steadily shrinking as land is turned up for farming, more lodges are built for tourism, and their food source slowly dwindles from surrounding pressures. The Mara is turning into a world of competing interest where sadly, the needs of those who have no voice are easily ignored.
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