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An unfamiliar killer

An unfamiliar killer
Photo Information
Copyright: Gerhard Theron (gerhardt) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1936 W: 244 N: 4106] (11620)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2004-03-21
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Minolta Dimage Z1
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/200 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Great cats - Grandes felinos, Felidae of the world: Second series [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2004-07-26 14:30
Viewed: 6084
Points: 19
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Because of the nature of this information you can figure that nature reserves would not want this to be common knowledge. I photographed this lion at an isolated reserve were lions are bred to replenish/replace those dying from FIV.

FIV is a clear and present danger to African Lions.

FIV stands for Feline Immunodeficiency Virus. It is a virus that infects several species of felines, and is very similar to the HIV virus in humans. FIV attacks a feline's immune system. It is contagious and can be transmitted from one cat to another. There is no cure for FIV. The primary method through which FIV is transmitted is bite wounds. It is also possible for a mother infected with FIV to pass the virus along to her offspring through infected milk. Sexual intercourse is not currently thought to be a major route of FIV transmission.
In domestic cats, the effects of FIV are very similar to the effects of HIV in humans. FIV targets and destroys white blood cells, which are the basis of the immune system. As FIV continues to replicate and destroy more white blood cells, the immune system becomes severely compromised and makes the cat vulnerable to other diseases. In domestic cats, FIV is fatal. Like HIV, death usually occurs as a result of complications from some other disease because of the compromised immune system.
FIV is very common in the Serengeti National Park. Studies done found that 91% of the lions tested (221 out of 243) were FIV positive. FIV is also very common in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area, with 93% of the lions tested (41 out of 44) testing positive for FIV. Similar results were found in Kruger National Park in South Africa, where 91% of the lions tested (50 out of 55) were positive for FIV.
There is no evidence that humans can become infected with FIV. Researchers and veterinarians that have been bitten by FIV positive cats have consistently tested negative for FIV.

carper, Robbrown, japie, mogens-j, PDP, Callie, zto, Eagle78, danbachmann, Dingo, bojoku_66, gopi, mrvdm1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: Thank you for sharinggerhardt 2 09-17 03:33
To meyerd: Orange Blister Beetlescshekar 2 09-17 03:33
To Cathe: FIVgerhardt 2 07-27 21:25
To zto: Workshopgerhardt 1 07-27 18:20
To carper: Composition of photogerhardt 1 07-26 16:13
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Critiques [Translate]

Brilliant note Gerhard so informative thank you, the picture leads us into the subject nicley

Very nice close up of this lion Gerhard. Though the sadness in your note it is very informative and tell us (who has never been there or seen a wild lion) how hard the real life can be. Thanks for telling about it.

  • Good 
  • japie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1814 W: 100 N: 1904] (5187)
  • [2004-07-26 17:13]

The crop is a bit tight for my liking, but the not is extremely informative. If FIV is transfered through bite wounds - Humans will not be contracting the disease - If this guy bites you, its final right there and then. It is very sad that these big cats and other animals suffer these illnesses and one cannot help but wonder how this came about. Thanks for this info.

Sad and poignant story Gerhard. I like the unusual aspect you have chosen shooting the profile. Having photographed lions in the wild, i appreciate how close you must have been to get this shot. My only wish that the background provided a little bit more contrast. Otherwise well done

  • Good 
  • Callie Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1101 W: 95 N: 2610] (7555)
  • [2004-07-27 1:52]
  • [6] [+]

Hi Gerhard
Nice note? Are you a vet? I have a good friend who's a very good vet, speciality birds. For tight crops, which, by the way, I like, one has to allow for certain aspects likeher, you left space on the right for the lion to look into. Now, and this is gutfeel, I generally turn the photo around so that your eyes glance over the empty space from LEFt to Right, the way we naturally look in Western Culture - and then rest on the EYE of the subject. This is NOT a rule, but eorks well for portraits of people. I always rotate my shots to get a "feel" of how it will look. Sometimes, it works, at others, you revert back. Now, light ia all important. If you have a mugshot, as I call it, then you must have "magic" light on the subject for impact, otherwise it becomes a record shot. Here you have no eye contact, hence the impact goes. these are some guidelines to look at. Some people "know" something is not "just right" in a picture, but they cannot place their finger on the trouble. SO, if Ican help, feel frre, to ask, - We are all learning, I too, even after more than 30 years of trying!

The composition is not so good is my opinion,but the composition and the note make it very good. Perfect and intresting note you send.
Points later

  • Great 
  • PDP Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 2821 W: 344 N: 3779] (11769)
  • [2004-07-27 3:57]

I too think the crop is a little tight, but everything else is good, and I think you deserve something for the notes alone.

Well done.

Points later

I'll gove you 1 point for the splendid note and 1 point for your photo Gerhard ;) It is a pretty good shot but i lack some eye contact with the lion. Yeh, i know, they don't really cooperate when you ask them to turn their head now do they he he. ;) Only joking. As for colour and strucuture, i think you did pretty well too, maybe some Unsharp mask cold bring out even more details though. I did a WS to show what i mean.

  • Great 
  • Cat Silver Star Critiquer [C: 17 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2004-07-27 10:07]
  • [+]

Gerhard, I love the composition you have chosen and I would love to someday have an opportunity to capture a photo of these majestic beasts.

I have a pet cat, that is infected with FIV and it broke my heart when I found out. I had no idea that the big cats were also in danger! You have taught me so much with your note, I cried... I love the big cats so much! Lions are my favorite. Excellent job, maybe could be a bit sharper, but just beautiful! Thank you Gerhard!

Wonderful portrait Gerhard! This pose shows why we call him the King ;)) Now your image is very well done in my opinon...the only thing i miss is maybe a more unfocused background and a bit more sharp on the lion (Zandra workshop fixed that a bit :) . Anyway i truly apreciate it :)

Very nice close up portrait of this lion, a very creative composition

I agree that the crop is too tight. There is too little background for my liking. very detailed and crisp however! TFS Nick

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