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Newsletter 87
06/12/13

Capturing the Moment

Hello Friends 

It gives me the great pleasure to announce the winner of the Tigress Julie Photo Competition for 2013. It is Marion Volborn. Congratulation Marion. I look forward to welcoming you and your husband on a Big Cat Safari. 

Marion's outstanding picture of the steam coming out of the Tigers mouth, illustrates the advantage of visiting Tiger Canyons in the mid winter (June, July). Shot against the rising sun the backlight  beautifully illuminates the steam. Marion's picture captures this perfectly. 

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV 
EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
1/1600 Sek;   f/2,8;   ISO 400

My desire was to take a photo of a tiger in the morning with breathing against the light. Only on the last day so I managed a photo and I was overjoyed.

Few who witnessed the brutal fight between Shy Boy and Sunderban (as told in Newsletter No 74) will forget the primeval scene as these two huge male tigers, steam rising from their mouths a  bodies, fought for territory in the Tiger River. 

Marion's picture captured a less brutal fight between Tigress Shadow and her daughter Panna. Both tigers rear up, protecting their throat and spine, throwing the paws forward, claws extended, with blinding speed.

Canon EOS-1D Mark IV
EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM
1/1000 Sek;   f/2,8;   ISO 1600

Shadow
walked slowly toward Panna. There was a small dispute. Shadow showed Panna that she is the dominant female cat.

There were many outstanding pictures entered and none better than Dudley Steenkamp's "Flying Leopard":

 

Nikon D3s.
70-200 f2.8 GII VR lens.
Manual settings:
F5.6
Shutter 1/800sec
ISO 250
Flash +2 exposure bias.

Lions will instinctively kill any prey-competing predator they happen upon, especially predators that could present a danger to their young - like leopards. 

The leopard in this photo had inadvertently strolled past the concealed ‘den’ of a heavily pregnant lioness. She was not about to tolerate a male leopard near her soon-to-be-born cubs so she instinctively attacked.  The leopard narrowly escaped her initial charge and did the only thing he could do, he hastily raced up the nearest tree. For several terror stricken hours he was trapped in the tree by the pregnant lioness.  The expectant mother would simply not allow a fully grown male leopard in close proximity to her young cubs.  The stand-off dragged on, with the lioness frequently climbing as high into the tree as she could reach, at times coming to within about a meter or two of the leopard before the branches would no longer support her weight, only to retreat and try again later.  At her every attempt the leopard was forced to retreat high up into the thinner branches at the top of the tree.  The standoff had to an end somehow - sooner or later.  I was there when it ended, camera at the ready... 

The distressed leopard finally decided to take his chances.  A leap followed by a dash for freedom would mean potential injury for him on ground impact, that misfortune would spell certain and instant death in the jaws of the lioness - the stakes were high, the pregnant lioness was not going to simply walk away, the leopard knew that too.  His moment finally came when the lioness appeared to be looking away.  In a dash of speed he leapt from the tree, hitting the ground with a bone crunching thud.  I was fortunate to get this airborne shot as he flew through the air. 

The lioness immediately set off in chase but her heavily pregnant state was too much for her to compete against the speed of a fully grown male leopard in his prime.  In a blazing flash he got clean away, his gamble had worked - this time... 

Kemlyn Perry's picture of the Tiger jumping onto a rock and Bridgena Barnard's picture of the leopard hoisting its prey both show the athletism of the tiger and the leopard. In addition both pictures capture the part the long tail plays as it counter balances the cats. 

Alex Kirichko's picture of the leopard stalking over the log is exceptional. The haunting eyes and the intense concentration typify a leopard closing on its kill. 

Tigers will often mate 150 times over a period of 4 days. The copulation can be painful for the female so she turns and swats the male ordering him to dismount. Nalin Trivedi's picture has captured this perfectly in this mating sequence.

I would like to thank Marsel van Oosten and Daniella Sibbing for judging this year competition. 

Please begin preparing for next year Tigress Julie Photographic Competition which is one picture of a lion, a leopard, a cheetah and a tiger. The same format will apply. Each shot scores points out of 10. The points are added up and the person with the highest points is the overall winner. The judges for the Tigress Julie Photo Competition 2014 are Jos & Yvette van Bommel. The closing date is 15 November 2014. 

The prize is 3 nights at Londolozi and 3 nights at Tiger Canyons for 2 people. Good luck to all of you. 

In remembering the beautiful tigress Julie who died  on the same day as Nelson Mandela (see Newsletter No 86) I have renamed the Savannah Fund , the Tigress Julie Foundation. In addition I have called the photographic competition, The Tigress Julie Photographic Competition. 

In a moving ceremony, several close friends of Julie have planted trees on her grave. 

This year's Big Cat Cub Safaris have started well. Ussuri has 3 cubs (ten weeks old). Ussuri has already  used 6 different den sites. The dens are truly spectacular rocky outcrops. We have been fortunate to access all the den sites and the cubs 2 males and a female have become very habituated. Many outstanding pictures have been captured. Bring your long lenses for best results.

Video of Ussuri and her cubs:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4hBX8oa0xc&feature=share&list=UUIJLtxSWbpgBfOavxnEIunw

I am proud to announce that the cheetah area (about 1000 hectares) is ready and shortly Sabi and Runde (2 males), Shashe and Mara (2 females) will be released into the area. The photographic potential is spectacular as we help these 4 cheetah to become fully fledged wild cheetah. 

I would like to thank Rodney and Lorna Drew for creating this fine area and Kevin and Basil Drew for constructing an excellent fence. 

Wishing you all a successful big cat 2014 with many beautiful pictures. 

Tread Lightly on the Earth
JV

Tread lightly on the Earth

info@jvbigcats.co.za
Copyright 2007 @jvbigcats  All rights reserved


Newsletters


Newsletter 150
14/09/17
The Survivor

Newsletters 149
05/09/17
In pursuit of Alan Root

Newsletters 148
09/08/17
Open letter re schools plus Panna cubs

Newsletters 147
17/07/17
It's Finished

Newsletters 146
31/05/17
Hunters

Newsletter 145
20/05/17
King Corbett

Newsletter 144
08/05/17
Hunting versus Non Hunting

Newsletter 143
14/03/17
If it Pays, it Stays

Newsletters 142
14/02/17
Best Photographs at
Tiger Canyons

Newsletters 141
16/01/17
Lady Hunters

Newsletter 140
10/12/16
Londolozi and Love

Newsletter 139
23/11/16
Life is Not Fair

Newsletter 138
17/11/16
The Trump Card

Newsletter 137
22/10/16
Most Admired People on the Planet

Newsletters 136
13/10/16
Captive vs Wild

Newsletter 135
08/10/16
To trade  or not To Trade

Newsletter 134
08/08/16
A Defining Moment

Newsletter 133
08/07/16
I Have Lost A Friend

Newsletter 132
13/05/16
The World is Changing

Newsletter 131
08/04/16
Icon Cats

Newsletter 130
31/03/16
Sylvester the Lion

Newsletter 129
22/03/16
An Open Letter to Head United Nations

Newsletter 128
15/03/16
An Open Letter to Carte Blanche

Newsletter 127
28/11/15
Satellite Tracking

Newsletter 126
12/11/15
Lightning strikes 3 times

Newsletter 125
28/10/15
The Break Out

Newsletter 124
05/10/15
Bad Tigers

Newsletter 123
01/10/15
Tiger Boy's Journey

Newsletter 122
13/09/15
Give it a Name

Newsletter 121
10/09/15
Driven Hunts

Newsletter 120
01/09/15
Creative Conservation

Newsletter 119
12/08/15
Sariska from birth till death

Newsletter 118
11/08/15
Real Hunters

Newsletter 117
07/08/15
An Open Letter to the President: Operation Wild Lion

Newsletter 116
03/08/15
An Open Letter to Theo Bronkhorst

Newsletter 115
28/07/15
Cruel Nations

Newsletter 114
08/07/15
Subspecies or no subspecies

Newsletter 113
11/06/15
Tigers Moving Forward

Newsletter 112
13/04/15
Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Newsletter 111
26/03/15
Don't Shoot the Messenger

Newsletter 110
22/03/15
The Hunters

Newsletter 109
09/03/15
Gaia or God?

Newsletter 108
26/02/15
The Healing Power of Cats

Newsletter 107
18/02/15
Goddess Gaia

Newsletter 106
03/02/15
Ambassador Cats

Newsletter 105
24/01/15
Blondes have more fun

Invitation
09/01/15
Gaining ground for tigers

Newsletter 103
14/12/14
Tibo's Dilemma

Newsletter 102
05/12/14
Wilderness Man

Newsletter 101
25/11/14
Sariska fathers cubs with white Tigress Tibo

Newsletter 100
20/11/14
Cheetah Survival

Newsletter 99
30/09/14
Extract from JV's speech on Corbett's Freedom Day

Newsletter 98
15/08/14
The Power of the Picture

Newsletter 97
18/07/14
Tiger Corbett's Release

Newsletter 96
11/07/14
Corbett's Journey

Newsletter 95
18/06/14
Bush School: Where are they now?

Newsletter 94
12/05/14
Open letter to Jani Allen: Oscar Pistorius

Newsletter 93
07/05/14
John Varty interview with Sizie Modise

Newsletter 92
20/04/14
Marion's Big Cat Safari

Newsletter 91
24/02/14
Full energy flow

Newsletter 90
10/02/14
Investing in wild tigers

Newsletter 89
05/02/14
Where are the Champions?

Newsletter 88
27/01/14
Managing the Genes

Newsletter 87
16/01/14
Capture the Moment

Newsletter 86
07/12/13
The Princess Diana of Tigers - Julie:
 Sept 1999 - 5 Des 2013

Newsletter 85
26/11/13
The Communicators

Newsletter 84
26/11/13
A Letter to All Conservationists in SA 
Sparked by the whole Melissa Bachman Debacle
by Maxine Gaines

Newsletter 83
16/11/13
Tell me what happened

Newsletter 82
04/11/13
Profit is the Name of Your Game

Newsletter 81
30/10/13

Big Cat Cub Safari


Newsletter 80
18/10/13
In the Jaws of the Tiger

Newsletter 79
11/10/13
Open letter to Vice President Cyril Ramaphosa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 78
06/10/13
Open letter to Min of Defense, South Africa about rhino crisis

Newsletter 77
30/09/13
Digital Photography

Newsletter 76
06/09/13
Zoochosis

Newsletter 75
20/07/13
Rhino Horn Trade - Response

Newsletter 74
09/07/13
Raw Power

Newsletter 73
02/07/13
The Evolution of the Tracker

Newsletter 72
02/07/13
An Open Letter to the Honourable Edna Molewa, Minister of Water Affairs and Environmental Affairs

Newsletter 71
06/06/13
Using flash or spotlight on cats at night

Newsletter 70
14/05/13
Mirror mirror on the wall, who has the best eyesight of them all?

Newsletter 69
12/04/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fastest of them all?

Newsletter 68
25/03/13
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the best fighter of them all?

Newsletters 67
07/03/13
Wild Cheetah return to the Free State after 100 years

Newsletter 66
28/02/13
Seeking the genes

Newsletters 65
06/02/13
Corbett's Journey

Newsletters 64
22/01/13
In Search of a Mate

Newsletters 63
11/01/13
Rumble in the Jungle

Newsletters 62
30/10/12
Voronin Big Cat Safari Breaks All Records

Newsletters 61
09/12/12
A Journey to Nowhere

Newsletter 60
03/10/12
The John Hume Approach

Newsletter 59
28/09/12
Response to Rhino Horn Auction

Newsletters 58
24/09/12
A Letter to John Hume, SA biggest Rhino Breeder

Newsletters 57
05/09/12
Newsletters 56
01/08/12
Indian Government -
the wrong decision

Newsletter 55
11/07/12
What price must beauty pay?

Newsletter 54
21/04/12
Corbett's Freedom

Newsletter 53
15/04/12
Lethal injection or Freedom

Newsletters 52
04/04/12
The anatomy of an aggressive tiger

Newsletters 51
14/02/12
Majestic, breathtaking pictures

Newsletters 50
04/11/11
Tigress Calendar

Newsletters 49
19/11/11

Let your pictures do the talking

Newsletters 48
26/09/11

Rhino Wars

Newsletters 47
06/09/11
A Letter to the President

Newsletters 46
08/08/11
The Body Parts Scam

Newsletters 45
11/07/11
Tiger Subspecies

Newsletters 43
01/05/11
Your future and the Tiger

Newsletter 42
08/05/11
Talk to Me

Newsletter 41
26/01/11
Gaian Reminder

Newsletter 40
18/11/10
Ron's Journey

Newsletter 39
20/10/10
"Descreprimate"

Newsletter 38
06/09/10
Beauty comes at a price

Newsletter 37
18/08/10

The Light Has Gone Out


Newsletter 36
08/07/10
The Beautiful Game

Newsletter 35
05/07/10
The Ethics of
Tiger Green Hunting

Newsletter 34
21/06/10
Tiger Hunt

Newsletter 33
26/05/10
The Year of the Tiger

Newsletter 32
11/02/10

Riding the Tiger


Newsletter 31
24/01/10

Runti's Journey


Newsletter 30
12/01/10

To intervene or not to intervene -
that is the question...

Newsletter 29
07/12/09

Lion - Tiger - Human Communication


Newsletter 28
12/11/09

Emotional humans, emotional cats


Newsletter 27
03/11/09

Julie gives birth to 5 tiger cubs


Newsletter 26
24/09/09

International Tiger Day


Newsletter 25
17/08/09

To all Photographers


Newsletter 24
16/07/09

A Shot in Anger


Newsletter 22
24/04/09


Newsletter 21
24/03/09


Newsletter 19
14/01/09

Tiger Birth
at Tiger Canyons


Newsletter 16
10/10/08

Tiger Courting


Newsletter 11
29/01/08

Privatizing the Tiger


Newsletter 9
27/10/07

Newsletter 8
28/09/07

Newsletter 7
14/09/07

Water Cats


Newsletter 6
14/08/07

Tiger Intelligence


Newsletter 5
16/05/07

Tiger language
Tiger Boma


Newsletter 3
09/03/07

Interspecies communication


Newsletter 2
06/02/07

Cub relocation


Londolozi
Newsletters

Death of a Legend
17/08/09


Newsletter 20
10/02/09

Newsletter 15
17/08/08

Painted Wolves


Newsletter 13
11/04/08

Response to Elephant Trust
by Daryl Balfour


Newsletter 12
09/04/08

Elephant Trust