Matriarchal Elephant

Photo and caption by Ingrid Vekemans

Female elephants live together in a matriarchal clan, consisting of a mother with her grown-up daughters and all of their offspring. Whenever they sense danger, the adults instinctively protect the young demonstrating solidarity and strength. This photo shows the matriarch of such a group. Her raised head and spread ears told us she was not agitated, but alert and the challenge was to capture the moment of eye contact in a sharp close-up before moving away. This wasn’t straightforward because of her dark skin, so I turned the ISO up to increase the shutter speed. Tsavo East, Kenya. July'09