Photographer Has His Canon 5D Mark II Kidnapped and Killed by a Lion

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Atlanta-based photographer Ed Hetherington makes a living photographing weddings, but earlier this month he traveled to Zimbabwe for a wildlife photography adventure. While there, he had a unique experience he won’t soon forget: a lion stole his camera.

Hetherington was shooting with a Canon 7D, 5D Mark II, a 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS, and a 16-35mm f/2.8L II. Wanting to photograph wild animals from an “on the ground perspective,” he also brought along a wireless remote and a small camera stand.

After successfully using the remote camera to photograph elephants and African wild dogs, he witnessed a lioness killing a buffalo a short distance away from his camp. When the lioness wandered off to a nearby stream for a drink, Hetherington decided to try and snag some up-close photos of the creature feeding on the carcass.

He quickly placed his 5D Mk II and wide-angle lens next to the carcass, retreated to a safe distance, and then waiting for the lioness to return:

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Unfortunately for Hetherington, the lioness turned out to be more interested in gear than grub.

Here’s a sequence of photographs snapped by the remotely-triggered 5D that shows what unfolded from a first-person point-of-view:

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You can almost see the gears turning in the lioness’ head. “What the heck… is this thing?! This wasn’t here when I left…”

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She even managed to snap an artsy photograph of her own poop (we’re guessing this is the only photo of lion poop ever shot that was snapped by the pooper itself):

Hetherington was also snapping away from a distance through his 100-400mm lens. Here’s what the whole thing looked like from his perspective:

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Sadly, the camera and the remote attachment didn’t survive the ordeal — both are broken and are scheduled for an appointment at the doctor’s office repair center. The 16-35mm lens was a little luckier: although the lioness popped off some plastic from the front and got the lens dirty, it still works and was used for the rest of Hetherington’s trip.

Image credits: Photographs by Ed Hetherington and used with permission