African Elephant - Survival through Power
This photograph shows a very angry African Elephant cow. This herd (part of) was crossing a road when I came along. This cow was obviously not impressed with me and is displaying typical aggression and intimidation. When their tails are up like this, they represent the Warthog in many ways. Angry, alert, not happy ... did I mention Angry.
Also, when an Elephant wants to impress its dominance, it will spread its ears and lift its head (like on this photograph) so as to make it look larger and more intimidating. Many insect and reptile species does the same.
This cow has nothing in common to a Warthog, an insect nor a reptile. She is a mother. And her calf is a little distance in front of her. Confused by my arrival, the calf somehow got confused and ran alongside another cow, still family though.
This cow, this mother photographed, is following her instincts true and wonderful. Be it a bug, a hog, a reptile or the wisest of them all ... a mother remains true to her offspring, willing to protect it at all costs ... even at the cost of life itself. And that is what makes this image wonderful to me ... not that my life was potentially at risk, but rather that this mother would defend her young at all costs.
The African bush elephant is the larger of the two species of African elephant. Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species . Some authorities still consider the currently available evidence as insufficient for splitting African elephants into two species.