Lioness Steals Photographer’s Canon DSLR and Gives It to Her Cubs

Wildlife photographer Barbara Jensen Vorster was photographing a pride of lions in Botswana in July when she had her camera stolen by a lioness. She luckily had another camera ready and captured a series of photos showing what happened next.

Vorster was shooting at the Mashatu Game Reserve with her Canon 7D and Canon 100-400mm lens — a camera kit worth over $2,000 — when she accidentally dropped the kit on the ground. Upon hearing the thud, the protective lioness mother growled and then approached the group to investigate, causing Vorster and her party to retreat in their 4×4.

“The camera fell with the lens looking up, she gently flipped the camera on its side and picked it up by the barrel of the lens,” Vorster says.

The lioness then picked up the camera and telephoto lens in her mouth and carried it a distance before dropping it onto the ground. Her cubs then pounced on their new toy and began playing with it.

Here’s a video of the incident:

“They dragged it through the dirt, chewed on the lens hood and then fortunately, like most kids, soon grew tired with their new toy,” the photographer says.

After retrieving her abandoned camera, she found that it was still functioning perfectly aside from teeth marks across the surfaces.

The camera was “very dirty but appears to still work,” Vorster says. “There are two huge teeth marks on the rubber focus rings of the lens and small teeth marks on the plastic lens hood, both of which I decided not to replace.”

She spent roughly £200 having the equipment fixed, but it was a small price to pay for the unique set of photos she left with that day — Vorster says it was a “priceless experience,” adding, “What photographer can boast that their lens had been in a lion’s mouth?”

(via Barbara Jensen Vorster via Fstoppers)

Image credits: Photographs by Barbara Jensen Vorster/SWNS