After appearing cautious amongst the Vumbi pride, resident male Hildur inexplicably began to run, and continued to run for five miles. He was running to his other pride where we found him consorting with an estrus female the next day. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
Hildur, a resident coalition male, rests with a full belly from a zebra kill appropriated from the Vumbi pride. At nightfall, he relinquished the carcass, allowing the pride to eat. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
We habituated the Vumbi pride to a remote-controlled toy camera car and were able to make very intimate ground-level images. This gave a dignified insight into lion social behavior. The fragile car would morph into a rugged robot tank as the assignment continued. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2011.
Resident coalition male C-Boy guarded this zebra killed by the Vumbi pride for a whole day. He only began to eat at dusk. Later that night he was seen dragging the carcass toward a defensible rock outcropping with thirteen hungry lions and twenty hyena trailing him. Image made with robot tank . Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
During the rains this unnamed kopje (rock outcropping) has a waterhole that brings prey for the Vumbi pride. On this afternoon they rested closely together after all five females attacked Hildur, the second male in the resident coalition. Why? Maybe simply because there was not enough food to share. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
For our two-year lion project, we centered our work around the females of the Vumbi (“dust” in Swahili) pride, raising cubs in the difficult feast and famine of the Serengeti plains. We also focused on this black-maned male, one of two resident coalition males. The researchers called him C-Boy. Image made with invisible infrared light. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
The Vumbi pride prepares for the evening hunt. Serengeti plains lions, because they have no cover, hunt by the darkness of night. They’re very tuned in to both when the sun rises and sets and when the moon rises and sets. Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2012.
The Winds are led across the river by their matriarch, Mistral, while a younger female, Sydoest, stands ground to discourage a breeding male that seems intent on following. Samburu National Reserve, Kenya, 2008.
One of the most striking things at the orphanage is seeing two year old elephants becoming matriarchs and taking care of very young babies - they even stand over the babies to shade them from the bright sun like a wild mother would. David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, Nairobi, Kenya, 2010.
Forest Elephant. On the Echira River, we placed a camera trap near where elephant highways showed a river crossing. This moment came as an old male rose from his swim and broke the infrared beam. Loango National Park, Gabon, 2003.
African Elephant, Loxodonta africana, form matriarchal herds of related females ranging from 2 to 24. The bond between mothers and calves is very close and can endure for 50 years. Small calves remain in almost constant contact. A mother will push a calf under her to protect it from danger and the hot sun. Lamai Wedge, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania, 2011.
The northern spotted owl is an endangered species that inhabits the redwood trees. The owl, whose life might span ten years, is protecting these 1,500-year-old trees. Humboldt County, California, 2008.
Though at rest after a long night’s hunting, the tigress Sita remains alert and ready to fend off any intruder that comes too close to the hidden cliff-side cave in which she has placed her small cubs. Bandhavgarh National Park, India, 1996.
With feline grace abandoned, Bachhi takes her picture by breaking an infared beam at an unmanned remote-camera site in Bandhavgarh. Sweltering 120-degree heat, she seeks releif in a pool, despite its fetid brew of rotting leaves and monkey urine. Bandhavgarh National Park, India, 1996.
Roosevelt Elk cows scatter across a meadow in Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park as two bulls vie for dominance of the herd. Their name honors the conservation of President Theodore Roosevelt. Humboldt County, California, 2008.
Twilight silhouettes a northern white rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum cottoni) at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. Only forty exist worldwide, half of them live in captivity, and another twenty live wild at Garamba National Park in Zaire. San Diego Wild Animal Park, California, USA 2007.
Cloaked in the snows of California’s Sierra Nevada, the 3,200-year-old giant sequoia called the President rises 247 feet. Two other sequoias have wider trunks, but none has a larger crown, say the scientists who climbed it. Sierra Nevada, California, 2011.