A Rüppell's vulture in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya © Sushil Chauhan
WINNER – 2018 PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR
Sushil Chauhan – A Rüppell's vulture in Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
"While waiting for over two hours in the hot equatorial sun for a migration crossing to happen, I decided to change my focus to a group of vultures that were feeding on a drowned wildebeest carcass. Fully fed, this beauty decided to dry off its wings in the sun, which produced this interesting image of a great raptor. These raptors face many problems, from loss of habitat, reduced breeding sites, and reduction in large ungulates (resulting in fewer sources of food), to death from poisoning, the witchcraft trade and collisions with power lines. They play such an important role in making sure that diseases such as rabies and anthrax do not spread, and they also help cycle nutrients back into the ecosystem. We must help conserve these amazing raptors at all costs."
This amazing image portrays vultures for what they are – majestic and regal birds that deserve our respect. This sensitive representation of one of Africa’s most threatened birds is a refreshing change from the stereotypical vulture image of bloodied hoodlums fighting for scraps of meat. The coincidental draping of another vulture’s wing over the head of this bird is almost ‘angelic’ and adds to the dignity of the image.
ABOUT SUSHIL CHAUHAN
I am a Kenyan wildlife enthusiast, nature lover and keen photographer. Trained professionally as a safari consultant and guide, my deepest passion has always been to work with wildlife and travel the world. My goal is to take photographs that create awareness about wildlife, conservation and wilderness areas.