How Tourist Photographer Lost Over $14,500 camera to Curious Lions In East Africa’s Prestigious Maasai Mara National Park

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Leaving his camera just 100m away from an inquisitive pride of lions may not have been this photo-tourist’s smartest move.

But fellow photographer Thomas Selig certainly enjoyed getting some amazing shots of the curious cats, after they began chewing up the £1,300 (Over 14,500)camera.

The photo-tourist had set his camera up on a tripod to take remote-control pictures of the pride (Photo By Thomas Selig)

The photo-tourist had set his camera up on a tripod to take remote-control pictures of the pride (Photo By Thomas Selig)

At the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya the unlucky tourist had set up his Canon DSLR on a tripod to take pictures using a remote control.

With the tripod just 100m away the cluster of female lions and cubs came over to investigate.

At first it looked as though the mothers wanted to take some shots of their cute cubs walking in front of the lens.

But unsure how to work the EOS 40D camera, worth about £1,300 including the lens, they resorted to trying to eat it instead.

Fortunately the photographer got his possession back after the female lion had strutted around with her spoils.

Ruins of the Camera: It was retrieved with its lens destroyed

Ruins of the Camera: It was retrieved with its lens destroyed

But it was all chewed up and the lens was destroyed.

Engineer Thomas Selig, 28, was able to capture some hilarious images of lions in the safari park.

He said: ‘On the morning I took the photographs, we were watching the lions and they started to move and play.

‘This was the moment another photographer on the safari got the idea to try to take a picture of the lions from very close with a landscape lens.

‘But the photographer didn’t anticipate how curious the lions are.

‘When they saw the strange thing they all moved towards it.

‘Their first reflex was to smell it. I imagined they smelt the human, so they started to lick the camera.

‘I was already thinking ‘oh oh it doesn’t seem so good for the material.

‘And then the first lion took the camera into her mouth and she bit the lens – that was the moment we heard the first cracks.’

The photographer, from Annecy in France, added: ‘For the lions it was really like a game.

‘When the first one took the camera with the tripod, they all really wanted to play with the camera, thinking ‘it seems so funny’, so the camera changed many times from mouth to mouth.

‘The whole scene lasted at least one hour, until the lions finally got bored with the camera and they went off to do something else.’

Thomas said: ‘While I felt really sad for the photographer, because it obviously was not what he was expecting, it was at the same time really funny and surreal.

‘All the people in the car were laughing, even the unlucky photographer.’

DAILY MAIL