Footnotes Blog

BBC Dynasties “Painted Wolves” Premier, Harare, December 2018

Having recently returned from a break in Mana Pools and managing to photograph these amazing animals for myself I was keen to attend this viewing.

I walked away from this astounding filmography feeling both sad and exhilarated. An hour of total escapism through the varied lenses of Nick Lyon’s professional crew we watched a snippet of a Dynasty; an excerpt of Blacktip and her mother Tait’s life – Mana Pools Painted Wolves aka Wild Dogs.

Tennessee Tragedy

The painted wolf seen being killed by a crocodile in the BBC “Dynasties” film was called Tennessee. She was a two-year-old daughter of Blacktip’s. This incident upset me greatly and still does. This is what I wrote in my diary afterwards and reproduced in my book “Painted Wolves: A Wild Dog’s Life”, which I wrote with Peter Blinston. I don’t want to show the graphic pictures in the book, because it is still too upsetting to see and far more disturbing than my baboon shots. Instead, this describes my gut feelings at the time for a wolf cut short in her prime and my pictures show her in happier moments of her life.

Wildlife-Human Conflicts: Proposed Solutions for Conservation

Wildlife poaching inside Africa’s National Parks is a growing problem, even in places where trophy hunting has been permitted on the boundaries for decades. Communities dependent on seasonal hunting jobs and rations of “game meat” still live well below the poverty line. In many cases trophy hunting is no longer strictly regulated or controlled, leading to the hunting of the biggest and fittest animals from prides and herds entering hunting concessions from the safety of protected parks. This means that trophy hunting is not sustainable in the future.

How I Got the Shot: Baobab and Pebbles

Still Life is a photographic genre way outside of my list of fun photography, and I only came to enter a few photos in the July competition out of a need to fill two entry spots. One morning I was sitting on the veranda drinking my coffee when I noticed an ornamental baobab being beautifully lit by sunlight. It took me back to being in the bush and taking photographs of baobabs at sunrise or sunset. So I hatched a plan, there and then, to make a diorama that I could possibly enter in the MPS monthly competition.

Baboon and Tortoise

As Tortoise was returning home after a day spent foraging for food he came across Baboon.
"Greetings, Tortoise!” Baboon grinned. “How was your day? Did you find food today?”
'No,' replied Tortoise sadly. "Very little food and I’m hungry."
Baboon burst out laughing, and jumped up and down with excitement.