Through the Viewfinder
And What Alice Found There
After yesterday's blog post about World Lion Day and my posts on Instagram over the last few days, I feel as if I'm talking a lot about wildlife at the moment! However, I thought it was definitely worth a mention that today is World Elephant Day! I love animals and always have done, and wildlife photography is something that I thoroughly enjoy, so issues involving animals are always important to me.
World Elephant Day is primarily there to raise awareness of the dwindling number of elephants left in the wild. Too many of these wonderful creatures are continuously being hunted for their ivory tusks, and like the lion, they are victims of trophy hunters and illegal poachers. Despite being an endangered species, supposedly protected by the Endangered Species Act, the number of wild elephants continues to fall and trophy hunters still target them. For those who don't know, trophy hunting is where a permit is given to an individual in exchange for large amounts of money. This permit then allows them to hunt their chosen animal in a designated area. The argument in favour of trophy hunting states that it is an act which helps the conservation of a species, because animals that are targeted are usually older, post-reproductive members of a group which may pose a threat to the rest of the population through aggressive or territorial behaviour. By removing these members of a population, the rest can thrive and grow - and of course the hunter gets the joy of killing a beautiful wild animal. I personally do not agree with trophy hunting and believe it makes matters worse for an already disappearing population of animals. I hope organisations such as World Elephant Day, WWF, and Save The Elephants can continue to grow and gain the support they need to help protect these beautiful animals.
Here are some photos of elephants from the same Kruger safari trip as when I saw the lions (see my World Lion Day Post here)...
We were lucky enough to see loads of elephants during our 2 day safari trip, but it was exciting every time we saw a new group of them! The images above show one of my favourite sightings - we spotted a large group of elephants just off the road so we pulled over to watch them and take some photos. There were loads of them, and more seemed to just keep appearing from through the trees! At first we were so busy marvelling over how big the bull was that we didn't even notice the tiny baby! It was so lovely to see the whole family there together, looking after each other as a community. After a few minutes, the group started to move towards us to cross the road, and soon enough we were surrounded in all directions! There was a scary moment when the bull stopped and was eyeing up our jeep and we all had to keep very still and quiet as they have been known to charge safari vehicles if they get spooked! Slowly, the entire herd made their way over to the other side of the road and we watched as they walked off together into the undergrowth. It was a very magical moment, and one that I will never forget!
Save the Elephants!