Photo Of The Day Contest, “Behind Those Lion Eyes”

“Behind Those Lion Eyes”

Photo Credit: Sean Braine

Hobatere, Namibia (located on the Western Edge of Etosha National Park)

Pictured here is perhaps the most famous and revered of all African wildlife, the Lion (Panthera leo).  Lions are the second largest of the four “Big Cats” in the genus Panthera (the Tiger, Panthera tigris, being the largest living cat species).

10,000 years ago Lions were among the most abundant large land mammals on earth!  They could be found all over Africa, across Eurasia from western Europe to India, and in the Americas as well.  Today, wild Lions can only be found in Sub-Saharan Africa (where this photo was taken), parts of Asia, and a small endangered population exists in Gir Forrest National Park, India.  Their population has seen an even steeper decline as of late, dropping 30-50% percent over the past two decades in Africa alone.  The reason for this drop is unknown, but habitat loss and conflict with humans are likely the greatest cause for concern.  There are currently eight recognized subspecies of Lion, and this particular Lioness most likely belongs to the subspecies, P. l. bleyenberghi, or the Southwest African (Katanga) Lion.

A Lion’s eyes are proportionately larger than those found in other comparable sized animals, and they possess small round pupils.  Many people believe that a Lion’s eyes can glow in the dark, but in reality they contain a special coating which reflects moonlight (and starlight) at night.  This coating increases the lion’s night vision by ensuring every possible photon of light makes it to the cells in the retina.  Notice the small white marks located just below this Lioness’ eyes, these help reflect light as well, and further improves her night vision.


To share your wildlife photos with the Bush Warriors community, go to our Photo of the Day Facebook page and upload your shots today!  Please click here to view ALL of our Photo of the Day winners and for more information on the Bush Warriors Photo of the Day Contest.  Enjoy the beauty of nature, just as it was intended to be! 


The Bush Warriors Photo of The Day Contest is brought to you in partnership with Creative Visions Foundation.  Inspired by the life of Dan Eldon, a young Reuters photojournalist killed in Somalia in 1993, Creative Visions Foundation supports “Creative Activists” who use media and the arts to create positive change in the world.

Vote for your favorite photo each week.  The Bush Warriors Photo of The Week winner will go on to compete for the Bush Warriors Photo of the Month, and a chance to win a signed copy of Dan Eldon: Safari As a Way of Life of life.