Readers’ wildlife photos (and a photo of animal mourning)

Send in your photos, as my tank is not sufficiently full for my satisfaction.

Today’s wildlife photos come from reader Susan Hoffman, whose captions I’ve indented. And we have a special feature at the bottom.

More pictures from a 2007 trip to South Africa, this time featuring the stars of Addo Elephant National Park.

Most of the animals at Addo are very habituated to cars, and the elephants will regularly walk past cars close enough to touch (which of course is very much against the rules). The windshield sticker on the lower left gives you some perspective on how closely this group is about to pass the car.
A majestic older bull

These female elephants are tuskless due a genetic variant, which is estimated to have affected only 2-4% of all African elephant females until recently. Due to heavy selection pressure from poaching in the region before the park was founded, almost all of the Addo females are tuskless.
Even a full-sized elephant can be surprisingly hard to spot in thick brush.

Prompted by my post on a grieving pig, Mark McCauley sent in a photo that is said to also show grieving animals (Texas longhorns). His words are indented:

I saw the entry about  the grieving pig.

My sister and her husband left Dallas and moved to East Texas to live in the country where they have some livestock. A few days ago one of their cows had a stillborn calf. She wrote:

 When the mom cried out they all charged to her side. They were sniffing the calf and kissing the mom repeatedly. When Michael moved the calf to be buried they all came down to the graveside.Here they are still standing where the calf was born. They were all kissing the mother. We had taken the calf to the burial spot. We just stood and waited until they finished mourning. After paying their respects, they left trailing one behind the other very solemnly. It was so sad.

 

 

12 Comments

  1. daniaq
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I almost cried here! That cow looks really sad!

  2. Posted July 31, 2020 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

    Animal mourning does seem very real. Our emotions do come from antecedents after all.

  3. C.
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    Those poor, bereft bovids, poaching causing tuskless elephants, the passing of Peyton the cat in the later post…the world appears to be trying to break my heart today.

    • Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Looks like the cattle got the tusks! But the horns are so freakishly long they are clearly a product of human selection & must be a burden to the animal.

  4. Glenda Palmer
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

    The poignant image and story of the mourning livestock plus the sad pig from yesterday have brought back a memory from long ago. I was a young captive at an RC covent school and made the mistake of commenting that my cat loved me.

    Sister Basil straightened me right out. It was impossible to love my cat or my cat to love me – as I believed. That was because animals do not care or love, barely have feelings – since they do not have souls. I remember looking up at her and thinking – wrong, all wrong. Haven’t changed my mind either.

    • Mark R.
      Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:17 pm | Permalink

      Sister Basil is a mean moron.

      • Michael Waterhouse
        Posted July 31, 2020 at 10:58 pm | Permalink

        Souls eh?
        If pressed I bet that she wouldn’t have been able to come up with a coherent answer as to what a soul actually is. There are no such things, whatever it is we are, at essence, we share with other life.

        This idiot belief about souls has caused untold suffering and massive ignorance.

        I’m glad you saw through it.

    • Posted August 1, 2020 at 10:30 am | Permalink

      I agree with the nun but extend that to humans. We are only animals…

  5. Mark
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    sub

  6. Mark R.
    Posted July 31, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for these moving photos and commentary.

  7. Posted August 1, 2020 at 1:57 am | Permalink

    Just.
    Made.
    My.
    Day.

    Thank you.
    D. NYC


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