Eternal bond of the gentle giants

We talk about family and how close one is with their parents or siblings or friends. Its not only humans who have such close bonds. The animal kingdom too shares such close associations.

Elephants in particular are very social animals and live in large or smaller herds which usually consist of females and young ones. The herd is captained by an older cow elephant called the ‘matriarch’.

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Close knit family| A herd with two calves quench their thirst at a stream

It is not just the mother who is protective of her calf. The other female elephants in the herd are equally protective and caring for the young ones.

Canon 1D Mark 4, Canon 500 f4, ISO 800, f4, 1/125 secs, Av mode
Mommy dearest | The calf reaches out to its mother at a salt lick

In the truest sense of family, it’s not just adults being protective of the young ones but adults also communicate with each other and watch out for the herd.

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Trunk call | Two tuskers communicating by touch

These gentle giants are not so different from humans when it comes to survival. They are aware of the fact that family is important for the overall survival of their species.

Published by

Sameer Jain (Kittu)

Way before I started photography, I heard the song Lose Yourself by Eminem, and the starting line has stuck with me ever since. It goes- “If you had one shot, one opportunity to seize everything you ever wanted would you capture it or just let it slip?” This line is a constant reminder and the closest description of what I feel when I’m out on a safari or walking/trekking photographing birds. Fondly known as Kittu, I’ve been a resident of Mudumalai for three decades. I manage and run Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse; a family run resort near the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve. For as long as my memory goes, I have been an ardent lover of wildlife. Growing up on tea estates and Forest Hills, has played an active role in nurturing my love for nature and wildlife. During school holidays at Forest Hills, I made full use of safari and trekking opportunities that came my way. In 2005, I decided to pursue photography with a Canon film SLR and in 2007, I went digital. The love of wildlife has taken me to various national parks both in India (Bandhavgarh, Ranthambore, Tadoba, Kaziranga to name a few) and other esteemed forest reserves such as Masai Mara (Kenya). While I keenly keep a track of birding activity at home (Forest Hills Farm and Guesthouse), one might just bump into me during a safari at my favourite forest reserve i.e. the Bandipur Tiger Reserve.

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