These Elephants

These Elephants are different other elephants. There are obvious differences, such as being the last population in the Sahel, making the longest known migrations of all land animals, and having relatively small tusks. And there are also many nuances, making them especially difficult to photograph. For example, these elephants come together in large groups during the dry season (now), in the same conditions where other African elephants would be dispersing in small groups. And mentioned in a previous entry, the large groups here are difficult and dangerous to approach. These elephants are also very afraid of vehicles. They do not see vehicles often, and when they do, it is occasional tourists harassing them. When you come too close in a vehicle, not only are they scared away; their behavior patterns are known to change for a number of days. As a result, you can only approach the elephants on foot. This is opposite to the situation in East Africa or South Africa, where elephants are often well habituated to vehicles. These elephants are also wary of outsiders such as myself (a turban can help my look but doesn't change my smell). Another challenge is that these elephants only come to the water to drink at night, when I cannot make useful pictures (and the moon will not be full for another 3 weeks). The competition with livestock and herders is too intense during the day and the elephants will only face this situation when they become desperate. This may happen as the heat of May presses on, but will not likely take place for another 2 weeks.View new photography at www.carltonward.com