National Geographic award for city’s amateur wildlife photographer

Sanjeev Bhor (42), an assistant regional transport officer at Pune Regional Transport Office, was recently recognised at National Geographic's Viewers' Choice Award ceremony for his talent in wildlife photography. Bhor, an avid amateur photographer, received an award in the nature category for his photograph 'Tender Moment' that portrays a candid shot of a mother cheetah with her cub at the Masai Mara National Reserve. As many as 22,000 entries were received for the contest from 150 countries.

"The cheetah, Malaika, is well known for her habit of climbing up on vehicles to spot the prey. The photo was clicked while she was teaching her cub how to spot and hunt prey," said Bhor.

Bhor said since Masai Mara plains have very few trees, Malaika and older generation of cheetahs have learnt to climb up on vehicles in the park.

"We had been waiting and watching them for a long time, hoping to see Malaika go for the kill. I clicked this photograph in the evening light. It was an unguarded moment, with the cub standing with its paws on the mother's head, while her head resting against the cub's chest. That is what I liked the most about the photograph," said Bhor.

Photography first piqued Bhor's interest a decade ago when he would study photography techniques online. He then decided to get some formal training. He credits his knowledge of basics and foundation of photography to his teacher Vipin Goji.

Since then, Bhor has grabbed every opportunity to travel to wildlife sanctuaries and reserve parks across the country and globe. "I am not a full-time photographer and am usually busy with work. But when I get a chance, I like to watch wildlife and click photographs. It's a way of relaxation for me," he said.

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