|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|I took this shot of a male African Elephant who was completely dominating a small mud wallow. I find Elephants especially fascinating animals to observe in the wild. They are very intelligent, with complex social behaviors and intricate family relationships. |
The scene that was unfolding when I took this particular picture was very remarkable.
Although there were a few other elephants around, they all waited for this male to finish before moving into the mud. Although he does look very contented in this picture, there was a lot of purpose to his actions. He was the most dominant male in the area and was doing all he could to show the rest of the herd this. Among the numbers, there was a female who had recently come into esterase, whom he wanted to mate with. There was also a much younger bull, who should've been subordinate, but in this case was also wanting to mate with the same female.
The two bulls may have determined that they were very evenly matched and did not want to risk fighting. Instead, they were both displaying dominance and waiting for a suitable opportunity to mate.
This opportunity came some time after I took this picture, when the bull got a bit carried away with his display and lay down in the mud, giving the other male a chance to quickly chase after the female and mate with her before the bull in the picture had a chance to get up out of the mud and chase after the mating pair.
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- [2006-04-11 22:25]
Nice portrait! Good light, great details and colours.
Thanks for sharing!
Good exposure here Travis, nice work. Is it unusual for the elephant tusks to be so short? In this area of Botswana there's a small pocket of a mutation: tuskless elephants. Perhaps that has something to do with it.