‘Family Meeting’ – Amboseli, Kenya

Size: andard: 48”x31” Large: 84”x52” (FRamed)

Materials: Innova Etching 315 gsm cotton rag paper

    Elephants follow a matriarchal system, meaning the herd is run by a lead female, with the rest of the group generally made up of related cows and their offspring.

    When males reach adolescence (around their mid teens) they will leave the herd and live either on their own or with other bulls in ‘bachelor groups’. The only exception to this rule is when bulls are in ‘musth’, an annual condition in which their testosterone levels are considerably higher than usual and they look to breed, regularly.

    This herd here were crossing towards the marsh in the heart of Amboseli National Park, in search of water. In an eco-system dominated by its seasons, you can see the harsh effects of five long months without rain here. The ground was scorched and bare, almost devoid of grass, with dust getting everywhere – I was finding it in my camera kit months after leaving.

    Despite the lack of the rain the herd was healthy, evident by the youngsters around, but something had spooked them and made them stop. Grouping together to discuss whether they though the route ahead safe, before the matriarch (fourth in from the left) deemed the situation perfectly acceptable and continued forward and on to water.

    Elephants are peculiar beings. The biggest animal by far to walk the savannah and yet easily perturbed. It does not take much to rattle an elephant, especially when they have young calves with them. With no intention of being the reason they were upset we watched them choose a path ahead and left them to plod slowly on.

    As with all images in this collection, 10% of the proceeds from this image will be split between David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation and Saving The Wild, my two partnered charities. It is thanks to the eorts of dedicated individuals and organisations like these that I, and many others, are able to still enjoy the incredible wildlife Africa has to oer. It is imperative to me therefore, that my images are able to help them achieve their missions and amplify their message.