(Photo: Larry Norton)
ANGRY ELEPHANT - Savuti, Botswana, Africa.
With a population of nearly 70,000 elephants, it is not hard to find one. This lone bull was getting a little too close to the plane. Claytor was worried that he might try to scratch his back on one of the wings. It was then that the elephant turned in a mock charge. Elephants have two types of charges. If their ears are out and their trunk is up, they are just pretending; they don't want to waste the effort of coming after you, but they do want you to go away. This is called a "mock charge." However, If they turn on you and their ears are tucked in close to their head and their trunk is tucked up under their chin, then this is a real charge; they will come at you at 35 miles an hour, and they will kill you if they can. Generally, they try to knock you down with their trunk, then they will do a "head stand" on you - crushing you into the ground with their tusks. Matriarchs with young elephants are the most dangerous, but a charging elephant can make a spectacular picture.