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I'm a Science Teacher, Nature Photographer, Husband, Father, and Grandfather who loves to explore the natural world by traveling, photographing and thinking. 

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Saturday, April 2, 2011

I Too Have Shot Elephants!

With all the furor over Go Daddy's CEO Bob Parsons internet video posting of his Zimbabwean elephant hunt, I thought I'd use this week's Camera Critters post to share images from the two chances I had to "shoot" elephants. Like Mr. Parsons, I am proud of my "shooting" of these amazing animals. Since my interaction and observation of them in the wild  has allowed me to be able to better educate my students and others about the lives the stunning animals lead. Unlike Mr. Parsons, my "shooting" resulted in  no harm to any of these animals.
My first chance to see elephants in the wild was in Botswana at the Chobe National Park in July,2006. Chobe is known for its amazing concentration of wild elephants which is supposed to be the highest in the world. These images were taken either in or close to the Chobe River.

Mother & Child

Young Poser

Savannah Sojourn

My second interaction with wild elephants was during my 2007 visit to Madikwe Game Preserve in South Africa. These images were taken when two local elephants wandered out of the bush & join us at lunch for a "drink". I am more than happy that I did not have to pay their bar tab!  The lodge's pool is a frequent stop for these elephants who have learned it is a reliable and  clean water source.

Elephant Cocktail

Enjoying a Drink
Enjoying a Drink

Trunk Rest
Trunk Rest

A final note on the last images. Watching this elephant, I learned that elephants, like people, are either "right tusked" or "left tusked".  As such, wild elephants will rest their trunk on the preferred trunk and will also use that side  for a greater degree of their daily tasks. This partially explains why most elephants have one tusk that is more worn down than the other. As you might expect, the difference is accentuated with age and greater wear. 

13 comments:

Amila Kanchana said...

Way to go John! I find African Elephants more stunning than our Asian ones.

texwisgirl said...

i like your version of shooting than the other.

Barbara/myth maker said...

Interesting how they are right or lefties. A wonderful series of photographs. How great it must've been to be in the pressence of these great creatures.

ladyfi said...

Wow - what fascinating animals and marvellous shots!

eileeninmd said...

They are all awesome shots of the elephants. I love the shot with all the birds too.

Stratoz said...

great shots. I love the photo of the one with the billions of birds flying over

Gary said...

Great story and photos!! Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Rambling Round said...

Great shots, and I think I like the one where he's drinking water the best.

Beverly said...

Wonderful opportunity and shots!!

Sondra said...

Why is it that the wealthiest take the most from the Planet? Its despicable! Your Elephant photos are Terrific..what fun that must have been-never knew about the left and right trucked!!

Lisa RedWillow said...

They are sure intersting. Wonderful shots. Enjoyed each and everyone of them.

Julie G. said...

I much prefer your method of shooting to those of Bob Parsons. Fantastic series of images! I too have visited Africa a few times and was thoroughly fascinated with these amazing creatures. Outstanding!

Photo-Africa said...

Awesome shots John! Thanks for popping in to my blog as well! :)