There He Blows
The African elephant, one of the Earth’s last remaining land giants but one surrounded by conservation success stories!
This photo was taken in Tarangire National Park in Tanzania, where poaching devastated the elephant population between the 1970s-1990s. However, after a monumental effort from the Tanzanian government and the incredible rangers, the elephant population here has doubled in size. More than 4,000 individuals now roam the park.
This beautiful bull elephant was in musth, a condition where the males experience a surge in the reproductive hormone testosterone. In other words, this boy was "in heat" and looking for females to mate with. Musth is typically characterised by displays of aggression and dominance towards other male elephants, and the surge in testosterone levels they experience mean that the bulls can be very unpredictable. Therefore, it's important to be careful and constantly monitor their behaviour.
However, this bull didn't appear to be phased or intimidated by our presence. Instead, he put on quite a show, meandering towards us from more than 300 metres away, throwing dust over himself the entire way. This is a behaviour that all elephants (not just males in musth) exhibit to help protect their delicate skin from the sun. I was extremely lucky to capture this image just as he strolled past a gap in the trees, with the sun’s rays lighting up the dust to create a gorgeous orange glow.
Printed on Innova Etching 315 gsm cotton rag paper that is sustainably sourced and FSC® certified. Available in three sizes:
Small - 300x200mm
Medium - 450x300mm
Large - 600x400mm
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