An elephant image shot at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) has emerged the winner at Drone Photo Awards 2023

K A Dhanuparan’s shot of an elephant in Anamalai Tiger Reserve has emerged as a winner at Siena Drone Photo Awards 2023 in wildlife category

June 27, 2023 02:07 pm | Updated 02:07 pm IST

Sleeping giant shot by K A Dhanuparan

Sleeping giant shot by K A Dhanuparan | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The elephant rests on its side, its massive body occupying a significant portion of the frame. Its wrinkled grey skin appears to harmonise effortlessly with the surrounding foliage, giving the impression that it is an inherent component of the landscape.

This image of the sleeping giant from the Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) has emerged the winner in Wildlife category of Siena Drone Photo Awards 2023 announced on June 20. Wildlife photographer K A Dhanuparan is excited with the announcement. “This image is close to my heart and I feel grateful,” he says adding that at a time when media is flooded with images of elephants in conflict situations, this image of a tusker taking a nap peacefully in its natural habitat is something he wanted to share with the world.

A thriving bio-diversity hotspot, the ATR hosts a variety of pristine ecosystems and is home to several wild species. Recently, Dhanuparan contributed drone shots of some of the iconic species including the great hornbill, Lion Tailed Macaques (LTM), Nilgiri tahr, and purple frogs for a film on ATR made by Pollachi Papyrus along with the Tamil Nadu Forest Department that is currently streaming on YouTube. He spent many hours inside the forest documenting the landscape that has a thriving diversity of tree species, amphibians, birds, reptiles and mammals besides being a significant tiger reserve. The Kozhikamuthy Elephant Camp at ATR is one of the oldest elephant camps in the country.

Among his other notable award-winning photographs, he picks the one where a pair of great hornbills, the yellow-and-black birds, display casque butting behaviour in aerial jousting. He adds, “We have to ensure that the species are not disturbed, even while using drone shots. The objective is to make people appreciate the beautiful landscape and urge them to contribute in conserving it.”

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