White Backed Vultures

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

Seeing any animal that is critically endangered is something special and rather lucky.  These Vultures, like many other species have been pushed to the critically endangered list by the ever growing meat industry which strives to take away land from the Natural world so that live-stock can use it for grazing.  As the land is used up for this, natural predators are all wipedas they pose a direct threat the live-stock and to the farmers pockets.  Since these birds are scavengers and feed on the carcasses which get left behind by the predators, it becomes harder and harder for them to survive.  Live-stock farmers have also been known to put out poisoned carcasses to kill off predators, not realising that these innocent birds will also come and feed on the same meat.  You might be wondering why I am writing such a long blog post for one photo…  Well, the answer is simple.  I care.  People need to be educated about what it is exactly they are supporting everytime they walk into a grocery store and buy that meat off the shelf.  Look a little deeper, stop covering your eyes to the realities of the destruction of our beautiful planet, stop only thinking about yourselves and start caring.  There is a lot of attention on the destruction of the Rhino in Africa at the moment but what people do not realise is that thousands of animals are dying on a daily basis, all thanks to the meat industry.

I shot this photo of these 2 Vultures on an early morning drive through the Kruger National Park in January 2014.  The silhouette of Vultures on a dead tree is something of an African icon and always a welcome photograph.

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Hyena Pup in the rain.

Friday, January 24th, 2014

Always stop and chat to other people when driving around in the Kruger National Park.  They’ll tell you what they’ve seen and where it is…  Sometimes people go as far as even setting their odometers to zero so that they can measure the exact distance to a sighting.  We’ve seen a lot of cool stuff that way and it can be a life saver when you’ve been driving around all day and seen nothing.  This little Hyena Pup was hanging around his den on a rainy afternoon and it was thanks to some friendly tourists that we got to spend some time with him and watch him running around and interacting with vehicles around him.  At one point, he was even under our car and then he was licking water off one of my car’s mud flaps.  These are some of the shots I took him before and after he got wet in the rain.

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Black Backed Jackal

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

We came across these Jackals while driving through the Makgadikgadi National Park in Botswana.  The morning light was perfect so we spent quite some time watching them scuffle over some old Zebra bones.

 

Hyena in the Road

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

On our last trip to the Kruger National Park we came across these Hyena walking in the road.  They looked like they had had a rough night, probably stealing some food from a pride of Lions or something.  One of them was walking with a Zebra leg dangling from his jaws.  It was a comical sight as the leg swayed on the joint as the Hyena walked down the road with the other Hyenas following closely behind.  I turned my car side ways so that I could get my 400mm lens facing them as they approcahed and these are the shots I captured.

Black Backed Jackal

Monday, April 27th, 2009

The Kalahari Desert just wouldn’t be the same without these little guys running around, scavenging and trying to catch whatever little animal they can to eat!  We spotted a lot of them along the roads in ‘Etosha Pan National Park’ in Namibia and once again, thanks to getting up at 5 in the morning, the light was perfect to capture these 2 goin on about their business.

Lappet Faced Vulture

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

Fact : Lappet Faced Vultures do not share the good sense of smell that other Vultures have in order to find their food.  This Vulture watches the other Vultures and basically scavenges off the scavengers!  They have also been know to attack small, young animals and raid other birds nests for food.  They are also the most powerful and aggresive of all the African Vultures and most Vultures will usually give way to them at a carcass.

I spotted this one on the ground, not too far away from a carcass in the ‘Etosha Pan National Park’.