The photo which won the award
The leopard photograph taken at Aarey milk colony by wildlife photojournalist Nayan Khanolkar has won the highly acclaimed international award of the World Press Photo. Nayan becomes the third Indian to win the second prize for his award in the Nature category.
Nayan Khanolkar, who has become more famous after he won the Natural history Museum-BBC award for his leopard image in Urban category, has been documenting the leopard activity in Aarey milk colony along with his group of team members. Nayan feels that the need of the hour is to protect the existing green cover and biodiversity of the Aarey and SGNP as no where in the world we can find the best example as our city where human and leopards are staying in complete harmony.
"Winning the world press photography award in Nature category is something that every photographer dreams about and I cannot express the level of happiness I got after getting the news. I hope that now at least the government understands the importance of the Aarey milk colony which acts as the buffer zone to SGNP." said Nayan Khanolkar
The image of the leopard that helped Nayan get the World Press Photo 2017 second prize award in Nature category was taken at the same location where the BBC award winning photo was taken but it was taken in the month of November last year.
Nayan's image that won the award world press photography is very different from the one which had won the award of BBC-Natural History Museum as there are lot of more elements in this image which includes the footware of the person staying in the house and also utensils.
Through this image Nayan also wants to send a message across and create awareness that the leopards should not be seen as threat. Nayan also feels that the image of leopard roaming in the narrow lanes between the house without harming anyone sends a positive message.
"There are lot of human elements in the image that won the award and any person who sees the image will easily understand what message I wanted to convey through the image. Those people who see leopards as threat and demand that forest department should trap the leopard in cage just because there is a sighting of leopard should look at this image and they would realise that how the warli tribes of Mumbai are staying in complete harmony of leopard without any problem. We need to learn a lot from tribals who are not scared of leopards because they know what precautions are needs to be taken."