wildlife photography

One Kiwi’s journey from PR maven to wildlife photographer

I’m so thrilled and humbled to have been profiled in Your Weekend Magazine in New Zealand and to have had my image of the mournful female gorilla in Rwanda featured on the cover! The interview was written by acclaimed author Kelly Ana Morey, whom I once shared a room with in Sixth Form at New Plymouth Girl’s High boarding school, and published in print in New Zealand’s Dominion Post, Waikato Times and Christchurch Star and online.  Reading the piece over the weekend I still can’t quite believe it’s me! Read the full story here.  

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Cheeky thieving monkeys

The vervet monkeys at the Save The Elephants research camp on the banks of the Ewaso river in Samburu National Reserve, Kenya are such characters … I love watching them at play – they jump all over the elephant collars on the branch outside, chase each other all over the river bank and swing off tree branches. They’re also opportunist thieves and since I’ve been here, they’ve swiped a banana from my hand, a bounty bar off the table and an entire bacon sandwich from a friend of mine as he was about to take a bite! It’s also not uncommon to[…]

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The death of a matriarch

Yesterday I came face to face with a shocking and disturbing reality of elephant conservation when I witnessed a gentle intelligent matriarch who had seemingly been shot in the leg, die before my very eyes. We found her collapsed in a remote part of the reserve, frightened, severely ill and dehydrated and despite keeping her calm and cool with water, she sadly succumbed to her injuries and died.   In her last moments, I watched her gasping for breath, her back arched, her legs rigid, mouth trembling and eyes wide in shock. It was one of the most saddest things[…]

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Working with elephants

I’m back in one of my most favourite places in the world – Samburu National Reserve in Northern Kenya – where I’m working as a photographer and volunteer PR consultant with Save The Elephants. Save the Elephants works to secure a future for elephants in Africa.  Specializing in elephant research, STE provides scientific insights into elephant behaviour, intelligence, and long-distance movements and applies them to the challenges of elephant survival. Our research camp is located on the banks of the Ewaso River and we’re surrounded by wildlife from cheetah families at the end of the driveway hunting impala to huge[…]

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Hyrax: The fang-toothed rock creature related to elephants

In Africa there live a group of curious, fuzzy, squat, rodent-looking creatures called rock hyrax. Also known as rock badgers, rock rabbits and rock dassies (it’s a wonder these creatures don’t suffer personality disorders!) these little toothy guys build their homes in a labyrinth of tunnels and holes in rocky canyons.   And boy are they fun to photograph. They just stare and stare, frozen as if they think you can’t see them, but as soon you blink or look away boom! they disappear like rabbits in a hat. Or badgers or hyrax.  The dassie above, which I photographed near Windhoek in Namibia, was sporting a rather dashing toothbrush[…]

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How I become ‘mother’ to an orphaned baby baboon

I’ve had some great adventures in my life from climbing icy mountains to fishing for piranha in the Amazon, but nothing quite compares to the experience of babysitting a smelly, mischievous orphaned baby baboon in Namibia. During a recent trip to Africa I volunteered at the Naankuse Wildlife Sanctuary near Windhoek where part of my ‘work’, alongside food prep, carnivore feeding, game counts and cheetah walks, was to spend the night with a baby baboon, bottle-feeding him and changing his nappy. As my friend Anneli said, ‘good baby practice!” There are currently several orphaned baby baboons at Naankuse  – all bought to the[…]

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How an orphaned baby elephant overcame tragedy to lead her own herd

This elephant collar, held by Save The Elephants’ Research Assistant, Benjamin Loloju Ltibikishe, was once worn by a great matriarch of the Swahili family called Khadija. During the poaching crisis of 2011/2012, she was the only remaining female – the last matriarch – left in the herd that roamed around the south side of Buffalo Springs, not far from Samburu. A mother to three babies, she was a compassionate and special elephant who had earlier adopted her niece, the baby Habiba, after her mother was killed by poachers when Habiba was only a few months old. In 2011, Khadija was found wandering around in Samburu[…]

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The diving elephants of Samburu, Kenya

Is it a submarine, is it a lochness monster? No, it’s an elephant thoroughly enjoying itself in the Ewaso Nyiro River in Samburu, Northern Kenya during a particularly hot day. This elephant stayed in the river for about twenty minutes, sometimes submerging himself under water for at least several minutes, before splashing about, spraying water with his trunk and then  heading off in search of food. Elephants are good swimmers and can stay underwater for quite some time by using their trunks as snorkels. Check out more pictures of this particular and very happy bathing elephant below. (I’m currently working with Save The Elephants as a[…]

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The cruel reality of nature

This looks like a sleeping baby monkey but the harsh reality is that nature can be as cruel as it can be cute and fluffy. This is in fact a dead baby vervet. It had just been killed seconds before we arrived. It’s grief stricken mother sat with it briefly and then walked away. Two other monkeys nearby – a mother and baby – had terrible bite marks on their backs so we can only assume that a male vervet attacked both mothers and babies. New dominant males in monkey families will kill all the babies that aren’t sired by[…]

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