Etosha National Park, Namibia

NOVEMBER 2006 – A blackbacked jackal stands in the scrub with his prey at the Etosha National Park in Namibia. © Mark Zanzig/

The story behind the image

We drove very slowly from the Halali restcamp towards Okaukuejo that day, watching our surroundings for anything special. We noticed a several big birds gathering on the grassveld in the distance. We stopped. We pulled out the binoculars and the zoom lens. There were Vultures and Marabou Storks in the flickering heat as well as two fast-moving animals, possibly jackals or hyaenas? But the scene was just too far away for us. We could not identify them.

We stood there and waited for a long while. Suddenly this blackbacked jackal quickly crossed the road in front of us. He was carrying something, apparently coming from the scene in the distance. As there were some bushes between the road and the scene, we did not see him coming earlier, and we were quite surprised when he sat down roughly 5 meters (16 ft) away from us to enjoy his prey – a springbok.

The scene was somewhat scary, because we suddenly understood how the real life in the National Park actually works. This is not a zoo, it’s life and death, and we had been witnessing an important part of it. The whole scene lastet for about 30 minutes, and we did not even notice how the time flew by!

Capture Date & Time30-NOV-2006, 15:35
LocationEtosha National Park, Namibia
CameraCanon EOS-1Ds Mark II
LensCanon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USM
Exposure1/4000 sec at f/5.6
Digital Image Source FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, AdobeRGB
Edited Image FormatJPEG, 24 bits/pixel, sRGB
Edited Image Dimensions4992 x 3328 Pixels
Copyright© by Mark Zanzig/

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