footprints

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.

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.

How I Got the Shot: “Shadow Mate”

I got this shot in May 2017 when we were in Hwange, one of our favourite National Parks in Zimbabwe. We were being spoilt by WEZ with a photographic prize at the Little Makololo Lodge in the Wilderness Safari Area just past Ngweshla.

We had seen a young lion following a herd of buffalos - ever hopeful, but being alone he was very nervous and was stalking but without the needed zest. As we were sitting watching him we noticed a troop of baboons, very nervous and mindful of the lion in their midst.