Photographer Captures Proud Lion Standing Triumphantly on a Hill of Bones

Lion Standing on Pile of Bones by Simon Needham

LA-based photographer Simon Needham was spending time at the GG Conservation in South Africa when he came upon a spectacular sight. Atop a mound of bones, an enormous lion stood proudly, surveying his land. The atmospheric sky that surrounded him enhanced the ambiance, as the golden light mirrored the animal's golden fur. It was the perfect photo.

Needham, who often works with non-profits, was in South Africa to help the sanctuary with their promotional content. The sanctuary is the forever home of over 70 lions that cannot be released back into the wild for a variety of reasons. During his stay, Needham decided to spend the morning at the boneyard. This is where the sanctuary discards carcasses once the lions have finished their meals.

It was a fortunate decision for Needham, who was greeted with the sight of a male lion perched on a hill of bones. “I wanted to create an iconic image that would resonate with people and also be a positive optimistic and powerful image,” Needham tells My Modern Met. It's his wish that the photograph will inspire hope for the species and remind the public of the strength and beauty of this animal.

With an image so powerful that it seems straight from the The Lion King, Needham has certainly reached his goal. He spends a significant amount of time photographing sanctuaries in South Africa, and to give something extra back, he sells prints on his website. A portion of the proceeds from the prints, which include Lion Bonesgo to GG Conservation to help them continue their mission in making the lives of their lions as comfortable as possible.

See more incredible lion photography from Simon Needham.

Simon Needham: Website | Instagram

My Modern Met granted permission to feature photos by Simon Needham.

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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