- Issue: Summer 2014
Armed with high-tech imaging gear, photographer Michael Nichols and videographer Nathan Williamson ventured into Tanzania's Serengeti to capture lions from some unexpected points of view. "I felt that it was important to get super close to the lions and on their level to capture their dignity and strength," says Nichols. So the pair tried a new strategy. From the safety of a Land Rover, they went beyond the traditional telephoto lens and tried snapping photos of the lions using a small robot tank, infra-red cameras and a remote-controlled helicopter. This image is one result. It's a charming example of how good planning—and a bit of distance—can make relations between people and lions a bit less fraught.
Illegal wildlife trade, human-wildlife conflict and climate change threaten lions and other East African wildlife. So WWF is collaborating with conservation partners in Tanzania to support more than 6 million acres of Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) where those threats can be addressed. And because WMAs can host wildlife tourism, which generates new jobs and revenue for local communities, there will be increased incentive to preserve wildlife habitat and reduce poaching—regardless of the weather outside.