Elephants are very easily seen here in the national park and are quite interesting animals to observe and photograph. These are social animals and the largest and oldest female in the herd known as the matriarch leads the group and the group follows her where ever she goes. The group consists of daughters of the matriarch and it’s offspring. The herd can include male elephants but until the age of 10 to 12 years. After that they achieve sexual maturity and in order to avoid inbreeding, they are expelled from the group by the matriarch. The matriarch is the one who makes decisions for the entire herd family because she is the oldest and most experienced. The animals have strong social bonds and they also help each other with social care. Anyway not too get too detailed in this post, I am sharing a number of photos which I took on this trip.
These were taken in Dhikala and I saw a herd of elephants grazing on the grasslands. This was shot in the early evening when lighting conditions were much better and not too harsh. They did not feel disturbed by our presence and I was there for quite a while watching them through the viewfinder of my camera.
This was a male elephant bull most likely an adolescent indicated by the size of it’s tusks. The male elephant either lives alone or with a small group of bachelors who roam about finding willing females to mate with.
Here a matriarch leads the herd.
A female elephant can be very protective if there are calves to protect. Here one can see that the calf is sandwiched between the two elephants in the front which is out of the frame.
These were shot on a bright hazy day. We had observed the elephants from quite a distance away. These were taken in Jhirna when a large herd of 15 to 20 elephants gathered around the small pool. It is interesting to view such behaviour.