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Eric Fichtl

Animals

Wildlife photos from some of my travels

<p>An inquisitive stare from a sheep in the village of Hov. Sheep farming is a major industry in the Faroe Islands.</p>
<p>Sandy is an elephant I spent a week hanging out with in Thailand. She was a graceful old lady!</p>
<p>Mother and pup sea lions (lobos marinos) rest on a rocky outcrop in the Beagle Channel, some kilometres offshore from Ushuaia.</p>
<p>A caiman (yacare) rests in the Pantanal wetlands of western Brazil. The menacing pose is actually a way for the caiman to regulate its body temperature, although this photographer must admit it is a touch intimidating to get this close. Shot from a canoe somewhere in the Pantanal wetlands.<br /></p>
<p>Elephants already alert shortly after sunrise.</p>
<p>This little guy (he is a male) was up atop Table Mountain. Such a colourful species!</p>
<p>An elephant and her calf take water. Elephants can drink over 200 litres in one session – proving their superiority to humans, if you ask me.</p>
<p>A waterbuck stands in the open, with a herd of elephants in the distance. The waterbuck is a species of antelope, and prefers to stay near water as its strong swimming skills can serve as a defence mechanism.<br /></p>
<p>A female Steenbok looks up from browsing for tasty grass. Steenboks are a small species of antelope. </p>
<p>A rhinoceros rests by a bush. Often poached for their horns, most species of rhinoceros are considered critically endangered. I believe this one to be a Southern white rhinoceros, the most common species – but even its numbers have dwindled to some 17,000 individuals. </p>
<p>A herd of elephants emerge from the bush. </p>
<p>A lioness and her cub eye the photographer. </p>
<p>Two zebras almost seem to hug. Or is it a defensive posture?</p>
<p>A trio of penguins decline a seagull's attempt to join their conversation. Harsh.</p>
<p>Three African penguins eye an interloping seagull with seeming suspicion. Will they get along?</p>
<p>Three clever lionesses make a roadblock to allow their cubs to cross the road.</p>
<p>Two jackals conversing.<br /></p>
<p>A giraffe and a zebra share a moment.</p>
<p>Two jackals go from 'conversation' to chasing each other in an instant.</p>
<p>Three elephants curl their trunks and eat in sync.</p>
<p>A not entirely reassuring sign in a snake pit at the Instituto Butantã, a research centre famed for its anti-venom work. The scale isn't evident, but these snakes were all more than a metre long. And for good measure, there was another pit for poisonous snakes nearby.</p>
<p>If I'm not mistaken, this is elephant is fairly old. The sunken temples are one sign it's lived quite a few decades, as is its slightly weathered appearance. (Please let me know if you can tell me more about this one's age and gender!)<br /></p>
<p>An eagle (a Wahlberg's eagle, I think) spreads its wings while resting on a tree branch.</p>
<p>A group of impalas graze as one inspects the photographer. Impalas have a distinctive three-tone body and black stripes on their rears.</p>
<p>A zebra strikes a noble pose.</p>
<p>An elephant bull roams under the big sky of Kruger National Park.</p>
<p>This lioness isn't being rude: lions stick out their tongues to help smell potential prey or danger. </p>
<p>A close-up of two giraffes crossing the bushveld. </p>
<p>A beautiful elephant in the grass of the bushveld. Elephants use dirt and mud as a form of insect repellent and sunscreen.</p>
<p>Two giraffes browsing for a meal. They're considered 'browsers' as they eat leaves, rather than grazing on grasses.</p>
<p>This zebra foal has just about mastered standing on its own four feet. A nearby wildebeest seems unmoved by the achievement.</p>
<p>Southern yellow-billed hornbills typically forage on the ground for food. This one's expression suggests the foraging wasn't so good that day.</p>
<p>A cape starling scavenges on the ground, allowing us a peek at its incredibly fashion-forward colours.</p>
<p>Wildebeests walk in single file to hide their numbers, maybe. <br /></p>
<p>OK, more of a stare from this grazing African buffalo, but just appreciate the Neneh Cherry reference. Prone to charging and trampling, this type of buffalo has not been domesticated and is one of Africa's most dangerous animals.<br /></p>