Showing posts from 2019

Face Off: Croc vs Hippo

In one corner we have a crocodile - 1500 lbs, 80 tearing teeth, excels at surprise hunting attacks.  In the other corner is hippopotamus 3000 lbs, a huge advantage in weight with thick tough skin.  Who wins as they meet face to face? We've all seen videos of crocodiles taking out wildebeest and zebras. Have you ever wondered how crocs and hippos interact? They both spend much of their time in the rivers of Africa. I had the privilege of learning first hand when a hippo died near it's pod. Crocodiles have an incredible sense of smell and over the next few days they came from miles up/down river to feed on the carcass.  When they were done feasting they would bask in the sun on the nearby banks and sandbars.  This hippo did not like the crocs resting in the area so he walked along the sandbar and one by one the crocs moved out of his way.  This particular croc was bigger and stood his ground for a bit before deciding he could find another spot. If you would like to view

Polar Bear Adoption?

Polar Bear Adoption? For Mother’s Day I wanted to share the story of a special polar bear mom. When we first came upon her in the sea ice we were excited to see a mom with 3 cubs. Seeing triplet cubs is extremely rare in the wild, partially because triplets don’t occur frequently, but also because the cub survival rate is low. In the early 2000's USGS estimated that only 43% of cubs survived their first year. These cubs are 1.5 years old so the odds of seeing triplets at that age are low but not impossible. After the sighting as we zoomed into our photos we realized that one cub had been tagged with a small white device in his ear. Our guides thought this was strange as a scientific team would tag the whole family. Based on a documented case of a polar bear adopting another cub they believed that what we were seeing was an adoption where the mom was taking care of another cub in addition to her own pair. Perhaps during an encounter on the ice a cub had mistakenly fol

Leopard Cub in Vines

Not all wildlife photos have an interesting story behind them, but when nature stories unfold before you it is an amazing experience.  I remember watching Wild Kingdom as a child and more recently National Geographic or BBC documentaries.  However, nothing can compare to multi-sensory experiencing of being there. This photo represents the story of a male leopard cub. The mother had hunted earlier that day and the partially eaten carcass was in a tree - yes you could smell it. Below that tree the female cub was eating one of the legs.  The male cub had been exploring but it was getting dark and he returned to the tree.  However the female would not let him approach the tree fiercely growling and hissing to keep him away.  Our guide indicated that this is normal and that when one of the cubs feeds even the mom cannot get close. We started to hear hyenas off in the distance.  They are nocturnal and although they can hunt, in Lower Zambezi National Park, Zambia their favori