Mom of the Year: Jackal Forces Eagle to Drop Her Pup 


A mother jackal has done the impossible: When an eagle kidnapped her baby, she pressured it into dropping the pup back down to her. 

At least, that’s how it looks from the image published last week by Africa Geographic. The shot managed to capture both the desperation of the mother jackal and the terror of her pup, which had just been dropped by the eagle like a hot potato. The photo, by Ateeb Hussain, was published as part of a collection of best submissions for 2023 Photographer of the Year.

Hussain originally shared the photo on his Instagram account last fall after a visit to Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. At the time, he wrote that the situation was “high drama.” He also shared an image of the eagle trying to steal the pup from its mother before it managed to take off. In it, you can see the bird swooping in close, just inches from the ground, with its talons upraised. The mother meanwhile, jukes and pivots with her baby in her mouth, seemingly determined to outrun the predator.

It’s a stunning image, just just a small snapshot of the daily dramas that take place in Masai Mara National Reserve. The refuge is a world-renowned wildlife hotspot home to cheetahs and lions, as well as a number of other rare and endangered species.

The 2023 Photographer of the Year contest has received some other incredible submissions so far. One shows a giraffe hanging out amid a vast herd of wildebeest. Another captures a moment of surprise when a teenage lion gets too close to a watering hole and gets a scare from a crocodile. Its parents look on, practically rolling their eyes. We can almost hear them thinking “We told you so.”

Got your own epic African wildlife photos? It’s not too late to enter the competition. You could win up to $5,000 and a safari for two in Botswana. The final deadline is April 30.

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