Thursday, October 17, 2013

750 days in the Kalahari Desert

Wildlife photographer Hannes Lochner spent 750 days in the harsh surroundings of the Kalahari Desert to chronicle the life of a female leopard and in doing so delved into a dark and fascinating nocturnal world of big cats and other predators.

Through his incredible project, Mr Lochner, 41, documented the struggle of Luna the leopard to raise cubs in one of the most punishing environments on earth, where big predators become more active at night, and when the photographer's visibility is severely diminished.

He also captured some stunning and often comical pictures of other creatures, bug and small, including colourful lizards and a pair of quizzical-looking owls.

He travelled a colossal 100,000km during his time at the Kgalagadi TransfrontierPark in South Africa. The images, collected in his new book 'The Dark Side of the Kalahari', capture the awe-inspiring beauty and breathtaking diversity of life in the region.

Shooting mostly at night, the Cape Town-born photographer had to brave: night-time temperatures of -13 in the winter, while trying to catch up on his sleep in sweltering 40C heat in the day.

There was a female leopard, named Luna, which had to protect her cubs from the park's lions, cheetah, spotted hyenas, brown hyenas and jackals, all of whom will kill cubs on sight.
The leopardess had three litters during the two years and three months she was trailed by Lochner. Her middle two cubs were killed by a brown hyena, but she later gave birth to another two which survived.

Also, unusually for leopards, she was regularly joined by 'family man' Oscar, the father of all three litters.

See the full article here and to see more pictures, visit our facebook page.

No comments:

Post a Comment