Earning his stripes: Photographer captures zebra’s brutal battle for dominance

A photographer has captured the moment a zebra emerged victorious after engaging in a brutal bout of biting and kicking.

The striking images, taken by amateur photographer Elmar Weiss, capture the two animals rearing up on their hind legs and attacking one another in Masai Mara, Kenya, in a bid to show dominance.

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One painful-looking snap shows a zebra getting booted square in the face by his rival before being pinned down.

Elmar from Hamburg, Germany, said: “I have done so many safaris in the past 20 years but I’ve never taken photos of fighting zebras.

“I really like wildlife action shots very much but it’s wildlife so you can’t say to them ‘please have a fight for me’, so I was thrilled to photograph them like that.

“They started biting a bit and then kicking, it was a big surprise to see one of the zebras fall over.

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“I think it was about the girls. When the fight was over there was definitely one winner and one loser, there was no judge necessary.”

Dental technician Elmar was on a 14-day safari and was hoping to snap cheetahs when the startling battle scenes unfolded.

Elmar, 48, said: “We were observing a cheetah coalition named ‘the fast five’ but the cheetahs were miles away in the plains.

“We were not allowed to go off-road so we decided to wait and see what would happen.

“To save time we started to have breakfast inside of the car and a group of zebras came nearby.

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“Suddenly two stallions started to fight, I immediately finished my breakfast and grabbed my camera. It was thrilling to watch.”

Elmar has been taking photographs for 30 years and doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.

Elmar said: “It’s been a while since I’ve been to a wildlife destination to shoot but in future I would love to photograph polar bears.”