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Your Best Shot

Readers submit their best photos to All Animals magazine

All Animals magazine, March/April 2016

Photo by Gustavo Botta

Florida is just chock-full of opportunities for seeing wildlife. Though it’s heavily populated with people here, I’ve seen quite a variety of bird species, including peregrine falcons, red-tailed hawks, ibis and turkey buzzards. There’s one bird of prey who dives into the canals like a torpedo and then resurfaces with a fish in his mouth. It’s incredible to watch!

I took this photo of a blue heron at Butterfly World in nearby Coconut Creek. I love photographing wildlife and had gone there in the hopes of getting some good images, but I never expected to capture a shot like this. The heron wasn’t even a resident. I think he was just stopping by for lunch at one of their ponds. I affectionately call him “Larry Bird.”

I have taken countless photographs but this is one of my most memorable. It’s a crazy mixed-up world we live in, and sometimes you just have to stop and enjoy the beauty.

Gustavo Botta, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Photo by Steve Steinberg

My wife and I have traveled many times to Africa to see the amazing wildlife there. We like to support wildlife tourism in Botswana because of the country’s strong commitment to conservation, such as strict anti-poaching policies and a ban on trophy hunting.

During safari at Mombo Camp in 2010, we spotted a very special group of 22 lions called the Moporata pride. At first, we could only imagine what we were hearing. Then, all of the sudden, there they were right in front of us: four young cubs who had burst from the bushes just squealing. It was unbelievable. They were being handled a bit rough by some of the other lions, but then three females began to tend to them in such an endearing and gentle manner.

It was on the same trip that we saw Solo, the famed wild dog who befriended two hyenas, and the celebrated leopard Legadima. We were also fortunate enough to see Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park before heading to Botswana. It was devastating for us to hear about his 2015 death at the hands of an American trophy hunter. In February, we’re heading to Las Vegas to protest Safari Club International’s trade show and its backing of trophy and canned hunting.

My trips to see these animals in the wild have been the best times in my life. We relive those images: the time with Cecil, the time with the Moporata pride, seeing Solo and Legadima. Those experiences are unforgettable.

Steve Steinberg, Long Beach, California

Photo by Eric Collins

I was in Grand Teton National Park last June photographing a fox den. I had seen the father the night before but was unable to get a decent picture because it was late. He’s what is called a melanistic fox, which is a black and brown variety of the red fox. It was the first time I had ever seen one.

I went back the next morning and waited for him to return. While standing out in the open next to my camera and tripod, I spotted an elk, pine marten, marmot and many birds. Finally, 12 hours and fifteen minutes later, the fox finally returned. I snapped this picture as one of his kits greeted him. He only stayed a few minutes and then left. What a great experience. It reminded me that good things come to those who wait.

Eric Collins, DeBary, Florida

Do you have an inspiring photo of a favorite pet, rescued farm animal or wild animal? Please share it!

Submit your photo to us for possible publication in All Animals or on our website, along with an explanation of 250 words or fewer about why it's meaningful to you.

Submitted photos should be at least 300 dpi at a size of 8" by 10" and at least 2MB. (You may also send hard copy submissions to All Animals—Your Best Shot, The HSUS, 1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 450, Washington, DC 20037. Hard copies cannot be returned.)

Questions? Email allanimals@humanesociety.org.

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