Lion drinking water at Gir National Park | Image: Hardik Shelat
- The photo shows the big cat kneeling down near a waterhole in the scorching heat of June, with its tongue sticking out to drink water
- The picture was clicked by photographer Hardik Shelatat Gir National Park in June
- Shelat said that the wound near the wild cat’s eye was from a fight with its brother
An Ahmedabad-based photographer has captured a stunning photo of an Asiatic lion drinking water from a natural waterhole at Gir National Park in Gujarat.
The photo shows the big cat kneeling down near a waterhole in the scorching heat of June, with its tongue sticking out to drink water. Its whiskers drip with water droplets as it gazes in the direction of the camera. There is a fresh wound near its right eye.
Photographer Hardik Shelat was visiting Gir National Park on June 2 when he captured the incredible photograph.
“We went to the National Park in the morning. After roaming around for two hours, we reached the waterhole and waited for the lions to come and drink water,” Shelat told Times Now Digital.
“We had to return in the noon but we came back later to wait again for three to four hours. The lion finally came to drink water,” he said.
The photographer, who has been visiting the park for the last five years, said, “To capture a photo of a lion drinking water is rare. I had captured a similar photo a few years ago but that was clicked at a man-made waterhole. It was a dream to click this exact pose of the lion drinking water from a natural waterhole, its tongue out and eyes staring into the camera.”
Lion drinking water from man-made waterhole | Image: Hardik Shelat
While waiting for hours in the scorching heat of June was a difficulty, the positive side of the weather was that Shelat got the right amount of natural light to click the picture.
“The older picture was clicked in winters. The winter weather was a challenge as the light was low then,” Shelat said.
When asked about the wound on the majectic lion’s face, Shelat said, “The guide told us that two sub-adult male lions were fighting for territory and a lioness the previous night. The guide witnessed it. The wound is from the fight.”
The two lions are brothers, aged around 1.5 to two years old.
Shelat was expecting to capture both the lions but only one came. The other one was in the bushes.
The king of the jungle was captured with 600 mm and 500 mm lenses attached to Shelat’s Canon 7D Mark II.