Robert Henderson's picture

Bob Jr. 2

Bob Jr. was an African, Black Maned Lion whose sire was the famous, original Bob Marley. Together with his brother Marley, he ruled a very large pride for over seven years in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania. But in March, 2023 Bob Jr. and Marley were killed by a coalition of younger lions in a battle to take over the pride. Photographers and visitors to the Serengeti from all over the world mourned their passing.

Bob Jr. had a very dark mane, many scars, and very dark eyes. He always looked angry (and hungry). His home range was in the Central Area of the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania, near the Namiri Plains Camp.

We visited the park in early November, at the very end of the dry season. The park managers had conducted a controlled burn in the area a few weeks before our visit. Without even the dry grass to hold it down, the constant wind raised a huge amount of dust. It was hard on the eyes of the lions, (as well as my camera gear). The lions' nictitating membranes were partially up, protecting their eyes, and making their stare even more striking.

When I processed the image, I realized how much black and white increased the drama and intensity of Bob Jr.'s grizzled appearance and extremely scary stare.

A special thanks to Namiri Plains Asilia Guide Anderson Mwampashe for spending all day with me, and on into the evening tracking the brothers for the perfect shot.

I took the image with a Canon EOS R6 with an EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM extender lens, hand-held. The exposure settings were 1/1250 sec at f/4, ISO 1600, 400 mm, hand-held. Taken November 8, 2022.

Canon R6
560 mm · f/6.3 · 1/1250 sec · ISO 3200
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Thanks Mariano! 😁