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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Friday, November 21, 2008

The hippo equivalent of an elephant's flapping ears...

is a big, wide open mouth showing lots of teeth. Which is just what this guy is doing here. I was on the edge of a pool in the Serengeti National Park.

The Seregengeti was one of those places from my childhood. I'd spent most of my formative years watching David Attenborough and others traipse across the plains filled with wildebeest and zebra.

When I finally got there I was very excited and almost forgot myself in my attempt to get a photo of a hippo. I knew that the wide opening of a mouth was a threatening pose but I just assumed it was made towards other hippos. So I kept on photographing.

I later found out that hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa and kill more people annually than any other beastie. Probably a good thing I didn't know this at the time or else I wouldn't have tried to get so close for a photo.

This was taken with a 300mm lens so I'm still quite a way away but close enough that this guy felt threatened. Moments after snapping the shutter he started moving towards me and my friend Richard (who had a 500mm so got quite a bit of a closer shot the bugger) so we hurriedly made an exit.

Often when we would camp out we would wake up to find hippo footprints all around the campsite where they had been wandering around foraging at night. Reminds me of another morning when we woke up to find elephant footprints all around us...but that's a story for another day. :)

1 comment:

char said...

who would think that these are the most dangerous animals in Africa!

it is great to make contact with another Cairns Blogger. Your photos are powerful.

It would be great if you wanted to Guest Blog over our way sometime.