Saturday, April 4, 2009

Elephants eating

It is not often that one gets the opportunity to get right down on the ground close to an elephant to get photos of him eating and going about his daily routine. This was one of the things I really enjoyed at Addo Elephant Back Safaris last weekend.

Elephants are fascinating eaters. They eat up to 200kg of vegetation per day.


Because they are herbivores (vegetarians), and thus only eat plants. Imagine if the were carnivores. What would it look like when elephants hunt? Anyway, they eat anything from grass and leaves to roots and bark. In this case this particular one was eating Acacia Karoo or Sweet Thorn. You can see the thorns on the piece in his mouth.

Elephants are referred to as very destructive feeders. This isn't just because of the quantity that they eat, but also because the would tear down whole young trees just to eat the leaves or get to the roots. The other thing is that they have very bad digestive systems. They only digest about 60% of their food. If you look at the pic above, the little mushrooms are growing in elephant dung. It looks like dead grass, which proofs the point. Pity I couldn't get the focus right, but the elephants were coming and I was in the way. I wasn't about to be stepped on by a 3.5 ton animal to get the perfect photo.

6 comments:

  1. Fantastic shots, and so much i have learnt from the info with them, shot number 1 is absolutely fantastic :0)

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  2. Wow what an experiece that must've been, that first photo is outstanding.

    Cheers!
    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

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  3. Sounds like so much fun, and the elephants are so magnificent. I laughed out loud at the end, and no, I don't think I would try to make an elephant stop because I wanted the perfect photo!! :-0

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  4. Great photos again!I would like to add you to my blog list!That´s okay for you?

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  5. Love the first from today's pix, but love the trip recount all together. Very well done and it appears you had a great time!

    The kite spider was cool too. Would have liked to see him/her close up!

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  6. Wow, elephants are such magnificent creatures and you capture them really well. I would also not hang around if I could see one coming - going one-to-one with an elephant is no fun indeed!

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