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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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

MAMMAL FRIDAY – PLAINS ZEBRA

Plains Zebras (Equus quagga) are the most common and geographically widespread Zebra species (Southern and Eastern Africa).

The subspecies resident at Thanda Safari is called Burchell’s Zebra.

Enjoy your weekend!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – BLUE WILDEBEEST

Yesterday morning I took this video showing a baby Blue Wildebeest – also called Striped Gnu – standing up for the first time and following its mum. This happened only minutes after the birth.

Sorry for the shaky camera work, but I had to hand-hold a 500mm lens to get this footage.

Mother and child were running just ten minutes later. Nature is marvelous!

And, for the last time in 2019: Have a good week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – ELEPHANTS

On Christmas Day morning I enjoyed the sights and sounds of a herd of African Elephants around a Thanda Safari House waterhole.

I thought you might like this short video.

Enjoy the last weekend of 2019!

#christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

VIDEO OF THE WEEK – ELEPHANTS

Midday on Friday a herd of African Elephants rushed past my home to get to the waterhole nearby. I followed them and was treated to a bit of entertainment.

Both Thanda herds met around the water on this very hot summer day. And as usual when two herds join it resulted in quite a bit of harmless chasing and trumpeting. What a show!

I thought you might like this short iPhone video collage.

Enjoy your Sunday and the upcoming Christmas week!

#Christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography #thandasafari @thandasafari

MAMMAL FRIDAY – CHEETAH

A remarkable feature of Cheetahs is their unusually low genetic variability in comparison to other cats.

Individuals are genetically very similarity to one another. It is assumed that this might have resulted from a long period of inbreeding, following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age.

These pictures of a Cheetah female – watching a two male coalition down the road and meeting them – were taken at Thanda Safari.

Have a good weekend!

#Thandasafari @thandasafari #christiansperkaphotography @christiansperkaphotography

THANDA CATS BOOK

I am very happy to announce that the new THANDA CATS Coffee Table Book is now available for purchase in the curio shops at the Thanda Safari Lodge and at the Thanda Tented Camp.

I worked for the last ten year to put together this portfolio of Lion, Leopard and Cheetah images. All pictures were taken on Thanda Safari.

The book also features nature-related quotes from all over the world.

I am very grateful to Thanda for publishing this new edition. My special thanks to Pierre Delvaux, Thanda Safari’s Managing Director, for writing the foreword, to Dr. Luke Hunter, one of the world’s leading wild cat specialists, for contributing the introduction to the 108 page portfolio and to Heather Dugmore for editing the text.

The hard cover version is available for ZAR700 (i~EUR43/USD48) and the soft cover version for R600 (~EUR37/USD41). In case you are interested in purchasing a copy please send an email to christian@sperka.com.

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