One of the last strongholds in the world for black rhinos is namibia, in the southwest corner of africa. frans lanting and i traveled to a remote region there called damaraland with simson uri-khob, the ceo of save the rhino trust. we wanted to catch a glimpse of the fabled desert rhino, and simson guided us to a beautiful female and calf, who roam free in a landscape with no fences. i share this video in celebration of world rhino day, september 22, and urge you to support the people and organizations who are working hard to secure a future for rhinos in the wild.
@rhinodaysept22 @wildaid @world_wildlife @savetherhino @lewa_wildlife #rhino #savetherhino #naturelovers @rememberingrhino
Photo by @franslanting . he is a primate the size of a human hand, and we encountered him in the jungle of northern borneo. he’s a tarsier, and his features are designed for nighttime hunting—powerful legs to jump, sucker pads on his fingers and toes for clinging, huge radar ears to detect the slightest sound—but it’s his eyes that are truly extraordinary: they are 150 times bigger in relation to his size than are ours. he opens them wide to see through the darkness and hunt insects like katydids on the blackest of nights. scientists consider tarsiers to be a model for the very earliest primate from which all others evolved long ago, and the way they touch our human emotions shows the connections we share. follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting for more wonders from the animal world. @thephotosociety #borneo #primate #jungle #rainforest #tarsier #wonder
We couldn’t believe our eyes when we found this astonishing blossom emerging from the rain forest floor in borneo. it is the world’s largest flower, known as rafflesia, and it is three feet wide—the size of a tractor tire. rafflesia is a mysterious parasitic plant that has no stems, leaves, or roots. it lives hidden underground inside a specific host vine and only expresses its presence when it swells up from the leaf litter and opens up as this otherworldly, electric-orange flower. its petals are thick and rubbery, but they don’t last long in the tropical heat. within hours, cracks appeared in the petals, and by the next morning, the bloom had collapsed. the second image shows another decaying bloom we found. somewhere in its short life, flies pollinate the flowers, and tiny tree shrews disperse its seeds. photos by @franslanting . follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting for more stories about the remarkable life of rain forests.
@natgeocreative @thephotosociety @leonardodicapriofdn #borneo #rafflesia #wonder #amazing #jungles #naturephotography
I love this image and this message. #regram photo by @franslanting a gathering of bull elephants animates the dawn like only they can. you can almost hear their rumbling. i share this image in recognition of world elephant day, august 12, to celebrate the majesty of elephants and to draw attention to the organizations that have forged a strong coalition aimed at reversing the poaching crisis that has decimated elephant populations almost everywhere. the @elephantcrisisfund was established by @savetheelephants in partnership with @leonardodicapriofdn and @wildnetorg. they support the right people in the right places and they are making a real difference. check them out and lend your support so they can do even better. and follow us @franslanting and @christineeckstrom for more intimate encounters with elephants.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative #elephants #respect #dignity #conservation #wonder #naturelovers #botswana
Video by @christineeckstrom it’s time to get up and a baby elephant just one day old is gently nudged to its feet by its mom. it was late november in zambia’s luangwa valley, and the air was oven-hot in the midday sun. some of the elephants had laid down to rest—including one who did something frans and i had never seen before: she covered her face with one big floppy ear to avoid the heat and glare of the sun—watch how she flips it open before she gets up. as the elephants moved off into the shade of a grove of trees, they walked to the pace of the newborn. this is the way of elephant families, and it is one of their many nurturing behaviors that endears them to us. follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting for more stories of elephant life.
@thephotosociety #savetheelephants #zambia #elephants #family #motherhood #nurture
Video by @christineeckstrom “the trouble with cattle” it was difficult for me to document this. at day’s end, when all the tourist vehicles have returned to their camps, maasai herders are bringing their cattle to graze inside the maasai mara national reserve, whose lush grasslands are home to one of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife in the world. in this video, filmed on assignment for @natgeo, you’ll see the herders bringing their cattle into the reserve as wildebeest in the distance flee. then a cheetah mother with her nearly full-grown cubs watches an approaching cattle herd and the cats take off, one by one, heading in the opposite direction. in many areas outside the reserve, people and cattle are increasing in numbers, pastures have been overgrazed and withered by drought, and the herders are seeking relief for their livestock. it’s a tough situation, and there are tragic side effects, including the occasional depredation of maasai livestock by lions and other predators, which has led to retaliatory spearing and poisoning of wildlife. help support the groups mentioned below, who are working to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts in kenya. follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting for more coverage from africa.
@biglifeafrica @wildlifedirect @annektaylorfund @chamiltonjames @bigcatsinitiative @bigcatpeople @thephotosociety @natgeocreative #maasaimara #bigcats #cheetahs
When you live as much of your life in the bush as frans and i do, you have to get creative. we lived off the grid on assignment for @natgeo in zambia, and to power my laptop i connected it to a car battery via an inverter to make notes and download video. having limited access to power like this focuses your thoughts. being off the grid and away from the world clears your mind to live every moment in the present, free of clutter, all senses open. it’s one of the things i cherish most about our fieldwork. follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting for more stories of life in the field.
@thephotosociety @natgeo creative #zambia #adventure #improvisation #wildlifephotography #creative #apple #laptoplifestyle
Video by @christineeckstrom by crawling towards them on hands and knees, frans was able to get close to these two wild stallions as they were rearing up and testing each other’s strength. he had to trust that they would dance around him. the oostvaardersplassen nature reserve in the netherlands has become a remarkable habitat for these and other large grazing mammals that once roamed wild across western europe. follow us @christineeckstrom and @franslanting to see more close encounters with these wild horses.
@thephotosociety #horse #wildhorses #oostvaardersplassen #aggression #wild #restoration #fight #rewilding
Photo by @franslanting nobody messes with salonga, the powerful alpha female of a bonobo group at the lola ya bonobo sanctuary in the congo. she has the physique of a bodybuilder, but she rules with the force of her personality. in response to a previous bonobo post someone commented “that looks like a human trapped in animal skin” and that is how i feel about this image. stay tuned for more bonobo stories from our jungle expedition with the amazing @ashley_judd to support bonobo conservation. check @franslanting to see a really powerful female who looks like a true bodybuilder.
@lolayabonobo @bonobodotorg @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #bonobos #bonobo #apes #matriarchy #conservation
Photo by @franslanting i love the way this male bonobo is looking at his hands—so like our own, and like so many things bonobo that are so like us. frans and i have had some of the most profound experiences of our lives in the company of bonobos and chimpanzees, with whom we share more than 98% of our dna. but numbers cannot quantify the emotions you feel when you see yourself, as a human, in the gestures and behavior of a fellow being. we are here in the congo with @ashley_judd on an unusual expedition to elevate the profile of bonobos in their only home in the wild—the congo—and to advocate for their protection. we have just begun to understand them, and how much we have to learn from them about ourselves. bonobos are gravely endangered by the bushmeat and pet trade. how tragic is that? we will share more from the congo, as we can, @franslanting and @christineeckstrom—so please stay tuned.
@thephotosociety @bonobodotorg @lolayabonobo #bonobos #apes #empathy #naturelovers
Video by @christineeckstrom when you enter the nursery at the lola ya bonobo sanctuary in the congo, you become instant playmates for the five young bonobos there. the two juveniles, bikoro and laliya, rush up, leap into your arms, bounce on your head, spring off your shoulders, and discover everything you forgot you had in your pockets. they are strong and mischievous—but full of love. it is truly heartwarming to realize that the remarkable care they receive from their surrogate human mothers is transforming these once-traumatized babies. they all lost their mothers to the devastating effects of the bushmeat and pet trade, and now they are being nurtured back to physical and psychological health—and eventually to a new life with a social group of bonobos. being with them was a gift for me—and for frans, as you can see in his happy tolerance of their antics, and his joyful laugh as they knock him off his feet. follow us @franslanting, @christineeckstrom and @ashley_judd as we dive deeper into the world of bonobos and the people who care about them.
@thephotosociety @lolayabonobo @ashley_judd @bonobodotorg #bonobos #congo #play
Baby bonobos are transported to the lola ya bonobo sanctuary as traumatized orphans when their mothers are killed by poachers for bush meat. the infant bonobos cling to their dead mothers until they are removed and eventually sold for the pet trade—babies are too small to be valuable for meat. lola ya bonobo has an astonishing team of bonobo “mamas” who act as substitute mothers to the orphan babies. they nurture them like their own children and slowly rebuild their psychological strength. as infants, the baby bonobos become firmly attached to their adopted mamas, and will only trust people who are trusted by their mamas. i was privileged to spend time in the past few days with three remarkable bonobo mamas and their orphan babies, and my heart melted when one young bonobo, bikoro, gave me his trust and crawled up into my arms. the emotion i felt is indescribable. we encourage you to lend your support to the people who are working to secure a future for bonobos in the wild—it’s a big challenge, but it’s possible. follow us @franslanting and @christineeckstrom as we embark on an expedition with @ashley_judd to document bonobos in the wild in the heart of the congo—their only home in the world.
@thephotosociety @lolayabonobo @bonobodotorg #bonobos #congo #africa #naturelovers #conservation