Elephant Calf (Loxodonta africana)
This image of an elephant calf was selected as a semifinalist in the 2015 North American Nature Photography Association's Annual Showcase.
It is also the recipient of a Top 250 Highly Commended placement in Audubon Denver's 2014 "Share the View" International Nature Photography Competition. I am very honored to have it chosen from thousands of entries from around the globe!
It was taken in Botswana as a small herd of elephant passed directly in front of our vehicle close to sundown, casting a lovely golden light on the landscape. They stopped briefly and this sweet little thing came into view as it was being safely hidden and guided by its elders. It looked so small and vulnerable, touching its mothers leg as if for reassurance. Such a beautiful moment.
Elephants are once again in crisis with their numbers plummeting due to the renewed demand for ivory in Asia. New research led by “Save the Elephants” in Kenya finds that 100,000 elephants were killed by poachers in just three years. This equates to one elephant slaughtered every twenty minutes. Poaching now threatens the future of Africa’s elephants.
There are an estimated 300,000 elephants remaining in the wild and with the current poaching levels of 33,000 per year, we can expect to see them gone forever in less than ten. The trade is primarily driven by a burgeoning demand for ivory in China. The growing middle class is fueling demand and escalating the price of ivory even higher. Sophisticated criminal elements - the same groups that smuggle arms, people and drugs – orchestrate the poaching and smuggling of ivory. On the ground anti-poaching efforts are outsmarted and outgunned. Borders are too porous and unenforced to stop the flow of ivory. Poaching for ivory is now so widespread and complex that it requires a coalition of leaders, NGOs, institutions, scientists, media and governments to try and solve.
Adventure TravelAfricaAfrican ElephantAnimalBotswanaBullDetailEarElephantElephantidaeEndangeredEyeEyelashesFaunaIvoryL. africanaLetaka SafarisLoxodontaLoxodonta africanaMammalNaturePoachersProboscideaProtectedReserveSafariSavutiSkinSnoutSunsetTextureTrunkTuskWildlifeChobe National ParkMoremi Game ReserveBaby