wildlife

World Ranger Day

Today is World Ranger Day where we remember all those courageous men and women around the world who put their lives on the line every day to protect our natural heritage.  I’ve been fortunate to go on patrol with local rangers and to witness them in action in Samburu and to spend time with them in Rwanda during a recent trip to photograph mountain gorillas. Here are some of my images of rangers from the Nasuulu conservancy and STE’s Security Liaison officer Chris Leadismo on patrol in Buffalo Springs and of rangers who work in the Virungas in Rwanda protecting[…]

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Up close and personal with Africa’s wildlife

Some of my favourite moments as a wildlife photographer have been when I’ve been able to get as close to my subjects as possible (without getting eaten of course!) and capture their facial expressions.  There’s nothing like spending several hours just quietly observing animal behaviour on your own whether it’s a haughty leopard staring at you from a tree stump as seen in the above photograph, or a curious baby baboon hanging precariously from its mum’s fur. As long as it’s safe and I’m not too close, I’ll switch off the jeep motor, sit quietly, camera ready and wait to[…]

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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.   SaveSave

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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.

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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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The adorable bush flattening baby elephants of Samburu

While most of the elephants in Samburu National Park in Northern Kenya have been happily and quietly eating the new green vegetation that’s sprouted after the recent rains, two baby elephants have been approaching their food in a somewhat less civilised manner. No doubt a handful for their patient mother, these two siblings  – aged about three years old – have decided they’d rather flatten their food than eat it and have launched into a game of  ‘bash the bush’ wherever they go. Together they run from bush to bush stamping, squashing and attacking as many plants as they can – ears forward, trunks flailing, both[…]

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The wild bull elephant that visits the STE research camp

We had a rather awe-inspiring visitor yesterday … an enormous 17-year-old bull elephant called Malaso who for some unknown reason, took exception to the special collar testing units that we’d set up in the morning on a patch of land at the entrance to the Save The Elephants camp. He strode into the camp, sniffed the heavy collars and their wooden stands which we’d positioned as part of an alert testing, and then promptly lifted them into the air and threw them to the ground as though they were mere twigs. He then happily munched on salt bushes while we[…]

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