Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Elephant Mother & Child

Was very busy lately planning/organising a tour for a couple visiting our country for the first time, but I didn't forget my promise to post some elephant-mother-&-child-photos. During the last tour in the Kruger National Park, we "happened upon" this scene of the females in an elephant herd "hiding" a few very young offspring in a thicket.

Eventually the herd crossed the road ahead of us (sitting in open safari vehicles), & "last in line" was this female elephant with her newborn baby as well as her "attendants" (= other female elephants specifically around to assist the mother in protecting her vulnerable young offspring).

By now people all over the world must have heard/know how amazingly protective & caring female elephants are with regard to their young - other than also towards each member within the herd. Yet even knowing this doesn't dampen a feeling of deep admiration every time one is privileged to "witness" such devotion.

This is one of the very first photos I snapped with a small digital camera (instead of a camera-with-film) - of an elephant female with her youngster only moments after it was born!! - accompanied by another elephant baby probably only a day (or 2) old.

Another photo of a female elephant crossing the road with her tiny youngster "in tow" - luckily for all visitors a quite regular occurance when driving through most of our game reserves.

An elephant mother's trunk gently guiding her youngster towards safety instead of possibly getting into trouble, because this inquisitive, tiny young elephant isn't able yet to distinguish if what it has detected might endanger its existence.

Another example how an elephant female uses her trunk to "guide" her youngster - in this case towards tasty acacia leaves.

The song: "lean on me" - or is that: lean against me? - comes to mind. These 2 elephants were crossing the road after a refreshing mud-bath in a river nearby.

Last but not least today: another photo of mother-elephant & her tiny newborn, of which I posted a series of photos before (= An Elephant Story) on Tuesday, 25 October 2011.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Also Mother & Child

"In tune" with my previous blog-entry (= Mother & Child) I spotted this Moorhen-with-chicks during a recent visit to Birds of Eden (near Plettenbergbay).

So I decided to continue that trend today by posting photos of "feathery" mother-and-child combinations - previously known as the Jackass penguin but now called the African penguin, with its tiny (sooty-black) chick.

A Crowned plover & chick.

A female Crested barbet feeding her chick.

Other than that its legs are "showing", not much else is visible of the little Blacksmith plover chick hiding against the rain that day under its mother's belly.

This female Egyptian goose appears confused - how did her flock of chicks end up in a human-swimmingpool?

Talking about a flock (instead of single) chicks - this female ostrich stands "guard" over her youngsters finding relief from the heat in the shade of an acacia tree (photographed in the Etosha Game Reserve, Namibia).

Similarly ostrich chicks find relief from the heat in the shade their father's large body casts across a desert-like environment if no trees are readily "available".

Is this an example of taking a mother's caring attitude to "the limit"? A very noisy Diederik cuckoo chick (known as brood-parasitic, because many true cuckoos lay their eggs in the nests of other birds) demanding to be fed by its "brood"-mother (in this case a female weaver).

Thinking of sharing some Elephant-Mother-&-Child photos with next blog-entry.