SECOND PRIZE: KEERTHANA BALAJI
Mammoth Skirmish: Accompanied by rising dust and a medley of trumpets and yaps, an unbelievable face-off between a pack of dholes Cuon alpinus and a herd of elephants Elephas maximus, left visitors to the Anamalai Tiger Reserve slack-jawed. The insolent wild dogs harassed the herd for over an hour, evidently trying to separate the young calf in the pachyderm group. But, elephants being elephants, the family formed an impenetrable circle around their precious young one, while two individuals repeatedly charged the canids. Eventually, with no casualties on either side, elephants, dholes (and observing humans) went their separate ways. The photographer captured an image that is not just technically sound but also displays an incredible natural history moment. The only thing that soured the experience was the unruly behaviour of some onlookers who flouted rules and added an additional element of undesirable human chaos to this rare and unique natural history scene.
LOCATION: Aliyar, Anamalai Tiger Reseve, Tamil Nadu
DETAILS: Camera: Canon EOS REBEL T2i, Lens: Canon 75-300 mm. f/4-5.6, Aperture: f/8, Shutter speed: 1/200 sec., ISO: 800, Focal length: 300 mm.