Best of AP — Second Winner


South Sudan’s 6M antelope now make up world’s largest land mammal migration, but poaching on rise  

Tiang, a type of the antelope, hide under a tree in South Sudan's national parks and the surrounding areas, Wednesday, June 19, 2024. The country's first comprehensive aerial wildlife survey, released Tuesday, June 25, found about six million antelope. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)

South Sudan Animal Migration

West Africa correspondent Sam Mednick spent half a year fighting for access to cover South Sudan’s spring animal migration, and it paid off when AP was the only international team to gather on-the-ground images, just as the nation announced the world’s largest land mammal migration.

Mednick reached out to the nonprofit African Parks when she learned of their work in South Sudan, but planning was challenging because their work was often in remote areas without communication. She also had to convince them to accept journalists on the ground.

Nairobi-based photographer Brian Inganga’s equipment was briefly seized and held overnight before the pair could finally get out in the field to witness parts of this spring’s migration. Mednick shot video while Inganga handled photos, capturing stunning aerial images of antelope and other creatures racing across the landscape. The pair also obtained visuals that highlighted an important aspect of the story: poaching is seen as a threat to this majestic event, which the government hopes will someday attract tourists to a nation best known for war and violence.

For their teamwork and persistence, which contributed to an important AP scoop on a striking and little-known natural event in a remote and largely under-covered region of Africa, Mednick and Inganga win Best of AP — Second Winner.

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