Simon Needham is a wildlife photographer based out of Los Angeles. He takes beautiful portraits, having various animals as subjects. His aim? To make the viewers aware of species that are endangered and help with conservation efforts.
One of his most striking works is a photoshoot of some rare white lions. A Conservation in South Africa named Glen Gariff had given him the chance to come back to the place. His objective would be to take images that can be used for promoting the lions they are caring for. The moment led to this series of pictures highlighting their outstanding coloration.
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White Lions are not the same as albino lions, though they are confused as the same thing. White lions are born because of a genetic mutation, which is usually recessive. The condition is known as leucism. A newborn cub will have this white coloration only when both of its parents have the recessive gene.
The white lions are usually natives of South Africa. However, hunting them as trophies for their natural rarity has resulted in them being even rarer in the wild. So, these unique creatures are almost only found in conservations and reserves like GG. These places give them a safe and large area where they can safely live.
GG is planning to use Needham’s stunning photos so that more people can get to know about them and help them with their cause. Read on to know more about Simon Needham’s life and experience.
The Background Of Simon Needham
Needham had studied graphic design at college. He had then begun his own company when he was only 18. He worked with James Sommerville, his partner, to grow the company over a period of 25 years, having multiple international offices. After 25 years, he parted ways with the company to chase after his personal interest.
As for his particular interest in wildlife photography, he had two personal wishes in life. They were to travel more and take pictures. So he realized that working with conservation NGOs and humanitarian causes would let him do both. Moreover, it will also let him give back to the world and work with rare subjects and situations.
He wanted to offer his expertise to GG to help their promotion, he said. Simon Needham considered it an extremely important cause that needs promotion.
Needham’s Experience With The Unique Subjects
Simon has admittedly been there a number of times. But for him, each time is better than the last. The visits also add to his confidence in handling these creatures because, by nature, they are quite intimidating.
Quite a few white lions are present in GG Conservation, but in their natural habitat, they are almost nonexistent. These white lions fall under the category of towny African lions, also known as Panthera Leo.
For Simon Needham, getting close to a lion was absolutely phenomenal. He feels their palpable power and the unique coat of white is an added privilege for him.
Simon Needham explains that GG has about 77 white lions who would not have otherwise been alive. They care for the animals with pure love. Moreover, the personnel all work extremely hard to make sure that the white lions are healthy and happy. However, the Conservation continuously faces a financial struggle. The vet bills and maintenance costs are quite high.
He adds that wildlife photography’s most important point is patience. Some of the other challenges are finding the subjects and then finding them from the proper angle. He hopes he can return to Africa and work for some more sanctuaries when the pandemic dies down.
All image credits: Simon Needham