Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Behind the shot with Wilddogs

Images like these can take a bit of vision and a lot of nail biting!!
The African Wilddog, Africa second most endangered large carnivore after the Ethiopian wolf would be well known to most people with an interest in wildlife. Yet these fascinating animals animals still falls short on the average toursist wish-list.  Not so for wildlife photographers.  After photographing the “normal” lions, leopards, elephant and the like they set their sights on the more unusual animals and this is where Wilddogs come into their own. Unlike the often lethargic cats, Wilddogs are incredibly exciting animals and their dayly social interactions and  hunting prowess makes them in my opinion some of the most exciting animals to follow and photograph. 

View from a distance as the Dogs came in to Investigate. 
But as a wildlife photographer and photographic guide I allways want to portray them in a special way. Wide angles are not new but when faced with the continents most endangered animals you certainly cannot afford to  cause them any harm. So when we judge that conditions are good we set up the remotely operated cameras hoping that their paths they have selected would cross near the cameras. 

One of the first images of this floppy eared dog a few years ago. Here a younger dog he would become a firm favorite of mine despite the fact the he nearly costed me a lot of money on a few occasions.
Here are a few images of a dog that came to well within reach of the camera. And what I found very special is that it’s a dog I have come to know over the four years I have been following the packs of Laikipia. His inquisitive nature forces him to investigate offering remarkable opportunities.   

Initially the pack comes over to investigate. Look at the floppy eared one leading the charge!

And investigate REALLY closely!

TOO CLOSE!! Those are his teeth you are looking at!!

And this is a picture taken by a camera tumbling to the ground. I shudder thinking what the damage could have been.

And finally me arriving on the scene!!


Miguel Antón said...

That´s some lovely shots of the wild dogs!!
Thanks for sharing them, hope that the camera withstood the fall... Judging by the result, it was well worth the price! :)
Fantastic images

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