PICTURE OF THE WEEK – LIONESS

One of my favorite pictures taken this week: A *Lioness* having an evening drink.

Enjoy your Sunday and have a good week!

… and a few extras from the same sighting …

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MAMMAL FRIDAY – AFRICAN LION

A few days ago I took this picture of a male Lions as he was resting on the road crossing our savanna.

A ‘King of the Animals’ pose by one of my favorite cats.

Enjoy your weekend 😊

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BIRD WEDNESDAY – SPARROW LARK

As we were observing one of our male Lions I spotted two small birds coming and going just off the side of our vehicle.

As I follow the female with my binoculars I saw two orange spots on the ground. To my surprise these were two little Chestnut-backed Sparrow-lark chicks wanting food.

For the next 15 minutes we observed the birds around the nest, ignoring the ‘king of the jungle’ 😊

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ECTOTHERM MONDAY – SCORPION

A (not so) friendly neighbor at the door!

The presence of *Scorpions* is one of the reasons why one should never walk around barefoot or with open shoes and never without light at night.

These small, but fierce creatures, can defend themselves by administering a painful – and in some cases deadly – sting. Any reaction usually lasts up to 10 days. For most scorpions these are usually minor and go away without complications. Severe stings can cause more pain, fever, and muscle aches for a few days.

The genus Parabuthus contains some deadly scorpions. There are a few species that are potentially life threatening and all the others will ruin your week.

If a Scorpion has a thin tail compared to its pincers then it is usually fairly harmless. If it has a thick tail and small pictures (like Patabuthus) then it is usually highly venomous.

So the one in this picture, which sat in front of my room, looks more fierce then it is 😊

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MAMMAL FRIDAY – LEOPARDS

Leopards (Panthera pardus) are listed as vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because they are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, and numbers are declining globally.

Often hunted illegally their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration.

This is one of my favorite Leopard portraits which I took many years ago.

Enjoy your weekend!

PS: If you like to see more of my Leopard images go to https://www.sperka.biz/sg2

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

BIRD WEDNESDAY – RED-BILLED OXPECKER

This Red-billed Oxpecker was ‘baby sitting’ and probably having lunch on top of this small Cape Buffalo.

An adult Oxpecker will take docents of blood-engorged ticks, or thousand of larvae in a day.

But their preferred food is blood. That is the reason why they often peck on mammal’s wounds to keep them open.

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PICTURE OF THE WEEK – ELEPHANTS AND THE ROLLING HILLS OF ZULULAND

uMkhanyakude is the name of the northernmost district in KwaZulu-Natal.

Thanda Safari – where I live and work – is located on the eastern border of this very rural district. It contains many areas of outstanding natural beauty such as the St Lucia greater wetland park, Hluhluwe-Umfolozi, Tembe Elephant Park and – of course – Thanda.

The picture shows a herd of African Elephants moving thru the rolling hills of the district.

Have a good week!

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MAMMAL FRIDAY – BABY ELEPHANT

A newborn African Elephant weighs about 90kg / 200lbs and is about 1m / 3″ tall.

At first, Baby Elephants don’t really know what to do with their long noses, sometimes they even step on them.

They will suck their trunks just as human babies will suck their thumbs.

Have a good weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

PICTURE OF THE WEEK – AFRICAN LION

The flehmen grimace is a rather comical sight produced by many male mammals. The main organ involved in the grimace is the Jacobson’s (vomeronasal) organ, in the nasal cavity just above the roof of the mouth.

The function of flehmen is to identify reproductive status of a possible sexual partners by ‘analyzing’ pheromones in the air.

To accomplish this the male will inhale a lot of air through the mouth which will then reach the Jacobson’s organ.

Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari