World’s Strangest

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Amazing wild animals fight scenes

The battles are unfailingly barbaric, and almost always fought to the death.

In a rare glimpse of a reality that wildlife photography rarely shows, this stark series of images illustrates how brutal life can be for the animals we might only see in a zoo.

From the ferocity of Siberian tigers grappling in the snow, to the disturbing sight of a hippo falling victim to a pride of lions, these are kind of confrontations that animals face daily in the wild.

Bald eagles attack one another mid-air over the dramatic Alaskan landscape

Taken by famed wildlife photographer Steve Bloom, the images also demonstrate what happens when members of the same species engage in a battle for supremacy.

Among the incredible images in his ‘Conflit’ series, two Bald Eagles fight for airspace above Alaska, elephants in Botswana clash tusks in the dust, and snarling polar bears fight for dominance.

Bloom, 56, who is most famous for his images of swimming elephants and stallions crashing through the surf, concedes that the images in the portfolio lay bare the reality of life in the animals’ natural habitat.

People often have a sentimental view of wildlife and they have this idealistic view, but animals are experiencing the same sort of stresses that we experience, but in a different way,’ he said.

Clashing tusks: Two African elephants fight for supremacy in Savuti, Botswana

Tooth and claw: Steve Bloom’s ‘Conflict’ series shows two Siberian tigers fighting in northern China

They are constantly trying to deal with killing and finding food and avoiding being killed and eaten. That is the overriding preoccupation along with reproducing and trying to stay alive.

‘There is a huge amount of conflict and a huge amount of stress.’

He admitted that being a spectator to that could be both thrilling and distressing, and that he often struggled with the dilemma of whether to intervene, or to simply stand back and let nature take its course.

In any case, it seems, the law of the jungle will prevail.

Surrounded: A hippo is attacked from all sides by a pride of lions in the Masai Mara, Kenya

Slugging it out: Two polar bears spar at Cape Churchill, Manitoba, Canada

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December 3rd, 2009

Stranger to the World


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