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Nature's Best Photography: African Lion and Cub

Lee Slabber / Nature's Best Photography

Lions in the Kalahari look and behave differently than those found in other African habitats. Lighter-colored fur helps them blend in with the desert environment, and they have to travel great distances in search of prey. The Kalahari lion may weigh about 100 pounds less than the typical 500-pound male found in more fertile areas, but its full mane makes it appear even more ferocious.

Photographer’s comments: “I had been following this pride in the Kalahari for a number of days, focusing on one youngster who was always causing trouble. In this image, his father had been trying to sleep. The cub kept climbing over the adult’s head until the lion growled to warn it to back off. In a moment of brave defiance, the youngster just glared back at his dad.”

Photographic information: Canon EOS-1D Mark III; 300mm ƒ/2.8 lens; 1/1600 seconds at ƒ/3.2; ISO 500; beanbag. See more photos at: www.wildlifephotosafaris.com


Each year “Nature’s Best Photography” magazine hosts the Windland Smith Rice International Awards Exhibition. Msnbc.com and and Nature’s Best are sharing some of the 2011 competition results with our readers here in PhotoBlog.

A print exhibition of the winning images and other entries will be displayed from March 30, 2012 to Jan. 6, 2013, at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Competition overview: The Nature's Best Photography concept began with simple yet dynamic goals: to celebrate the beauty and diversity of nature through the art of photography, and to use this far-reaching medium as a creative tool for encouraging greater public interest in outdoor enjoyment and conservation stewardship. The annual Windland Smith Rice International Awards program evolved from this ambitious mission to become one of the most highly-respected and visually compelling nature photography competitions in the world. More than 25,000 entries are received and judged each year in the International Awards. See more in the "Enter Photos" section.

See some of the photos from the 2011 Windland Smith Rice International Awards Exhibition

See more of the photos from the 2010 Windland Smith Rice International Awards Exhibition

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