Wildlife photography is tricky business at the best of times, and all the more so when lions are involved - ESPECIALLY when those lions are in the midst of feeding.
William and Matthew Burrard-Lucas are brothers and wildlife photographers from the U.K. who have figured a way around some of their profession's more dangerous aspects. In 2009, they built what they called a BeetleCam, a remote-controlled buggy with a camera attached. This device enabled them to get some impressive images of animals while on a trip to Tanzania - until it was nearly destroyed in an encounter with a lion.
Undaunted, they decided to build a lion-proof version of the BeetleCam, complete with armoured shell. The project was a success, and the brothers have now released some extremely up-close-and-personal images of lions in action, taken on their last trip to Africa as only a BeetleCam can:
So how does a BeetleCam work? Here are the Burrard-Lucas brothers with the armoured devices that brought you the images above:
The advantage of the BeetleCam is that it can get close to the lions without putting the photographers in danger. But that's not to say the big cats don't notice it, or don't occasionally take issue with the camera's intrusions - as evidenced perhaps by the occasional snarl the BeetleCam seems to elicit from its subjects, and the loss of one of its wheels to a lion cub. A good reminder, perhaps, that wildlife photography should not be carried out by amateurs:
Lions aren't the only animals that remote-control technology can bring closer to viewers. The Burrard-Lucas brothers's initial BeetleCam snapped photos of elephants and buffalo in 2009, and the Polar Bear Cam, in partnership with Polar Bears International and others, shows the ursine residents of Churchill, Manitoba, and Denmark's Scandinavian Wildlife Park in action.
Related Stories on Strombo.com: