Photography by Suzi Eszterhas | Text by Della Watson
They're the creatures we love to love. Big, furry, and expressive, we turn lions, gorillas, cheetahs, and bears into sports mascots, cartoon characters, and children's toys. We identify with their apparent strength or perceived tenderness and imagine that their struggles might somehow mirror our own. But how well do we really know these beloved animals?
Photographer Suzi Eszterhas spends months in the field with her wild subjects to capture moments like the one above—of a two-week-old lion cub at Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya meeting its father for the first time—and she comes back armed not just with great photographs but also with firsthand knowledge of the animals' family relationships and the dangers they face. Eszterhas's series "Eye on the Wild" (Frances Lincoln Publishers) introduces endangered species to young children, a project she hopes will inspire a new generation of environmentalists.
We collected some of our favorite shots from Eszterhas's portfolio and asked the photographer to share some of her tales from the field.