Mumbai based photographer wins the prestigious wildlife photographer of the year award

Image Courtesy: The Hindu

Mumbai based photographer and conservationist Nayan Khanolkar recently won the Wildlife Photographer of The Year Award at a global contest organised by the Natural History Museum, London and BBC Wildlife. It is indeed a proud moment for India, as the award is considered the most prestigious in the world.

The winning photograph ‘The Alley Cat’, was taken in the Aarey Milk Colony, on the fringe of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. The photograph captures a lone leopard walking down a quiet lane, highlighting how Warli tribe living near the national park co-exist with these wild cats.

“I wanted the leopard to be an integrated part of the urban environment,” Mr. Khanolkar said from London, where he has gone to receive the award. He believes that putting a stop to relocating leopards solved the conflict in several areas of the city. “I wanted to convey that if co-existence with predators is possible in the centre of a metropolis, there is no reason why it shouldn’t be possible anywhere else in the world,” he said. He found it challenging to convince the locals that the project was aimed at mitigating human-leopard conflict. “I’m happy because this message will now reach a wider audience,” Khanolkar said.

Khanolkar interest in the man vs beast conflict began in 2011, when he came across photographs of a leopard being burnt near Corbett Tiger Reserve. After an year of research on movement of the leopards, he set up a camera trap to capture one.

Source: The Hindu

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