Here is October’s free desktop wallpaper! It’s another wildlife image from the jungles of Gabon. This is a dslr camera trap image of an African Forest Elephant. The debate whether this is a separate subspecies or even its own species still continues to this day, but these elephants are definitely smaller than their savanna cousins. Thankfully poaching is not a big threat in Lope National Park and elephant densities may be the highest in this part of the country. They have had hunting pressure in the past though and since these elephants live a long time, many older individuals still have bullets in their skin and have understandably developed a severe disliking of humans. Now, when you walk through the rainforest your biggest fear is running into one of these guys. They will charge you instead of running away, and most of the time they are not bluff charges. It’s scary as hell. I am very glad I wasn’t anywhere near the camera when this guy walked past, taking his self portrait while stepping into a puddle of water.
This picture was taken recently in Lope National Park in Gabon. The park is made up of a unique savanna-forest mosaic which is quite unique in the area. The animals that live here are generally forest species, but some of them use the savanna as well. Phil Henschel, a panthera biologist, and I were trying to sneak up on this female Bushbuck (who had a calf with her) from a hundred yards away. We moved too fast (these antelopes have great eye sight) and they ran away into a marsh. Phil and I decided to sit down and wait to see if we could see them emerge from the marsh. For half an hour we saw no movement except a Forest Buffalo that was running around like it was mad. All of a sudden we look to our right (even though the marsh was to our left) and the same Bushbuck mother and her calf came running right at us, with the forest buffalo chasing them. They came to a halt a mere 12 feet away, which is when I snapped this photo. Sometimes things just happen in a really weird way!
I am currently in New Zealand with Kailani where we have been getting to see some really amazing birds including this pelagic Albatross. It’s a Southern Royal Albatross, which have the second largest wingspan of any bird in the world (about 10 feet). It was incredibly impressive to see them glide over the water. As always, just click on the image for the wallpaper sized image or use this link Southern Royal Albatross in Flight Wallpaper.
Southern Royal Albatross in Flight, Kaikoura, South Island, New Zealand
As always, please only use it as a wallpaper for a personal computer. Otherwise, I can only use really really really really boring pictures, or I have to stop all together.
Finally, I would like to thank Alastair Judkins, an extremely impressive birder and biologist, without whom this picture would not have been possible.
*If you are interested in purchasing any of the pictures displayed in this post, please check out my fine prints page for pricing.*