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Happy New Year from Benin

Happy New Year from Benin
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-01-01
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII
Exposure: f/4, 1/250 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite African animal photos 2, Fauna of ETHIOPIAN (Africa) Region, CeltickRanger's favorite Elephant photos, West African Wildlife and Environments, TN Favourites [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-01-02 1:47
Viewed: 9041
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Happy New Year from Ougadougou, Burkina Faso! I took this shot of a Forest Elephant early yesterday morning in Parc National de Pendjari in Benin - who says there is no wildlife in West Africa?! Shortly after this we encountered a pride of 7 lions hunting Kob and later a large herd of Forest Buffalo.

The African Forest Elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis) is an elephant of the Congo forest. Formerly considered a subspecies of the African Bush Elephant (Loxodonta africana), DNA testing has established it as a separate species.

Differences include the African Forest Elephant's long, narrow mandible (the African Bush Elephant's is short and wide), its rounded ears (an African Bush Elephant's ears are more pointed), straighter and downward tusks, considerably smaller size, and number of toenails. The male African Forest Elephant rarely exceed 2.5 metres (8 ft) in height, while the African Bush Elephant is usually over 3 meters (just under 10 feet) and sometimes almost 4 meters (13 ft) tall. With regard to the number of toenails: the African Bush Elephant normally has 4 toenails on the frontfoot and 3 on the hindfoot, the African Forest Elephant normally has 5 toenails on the frontfoot and 4 on the hindfoot (like the Asian elephant), but hybrids between the two species occur. African forest elephants are herbivores and commonly eat leaves, fruit, bark, and occasionally visit mineral licks

The Pendjari National Park lies in north western Benin, adjoining the Arli National Park in Burkina Faso. Named for the Pendjari River, the national park is known for its wildlife, including elephants, monkeys, lions, hippopotamuses, buffalo and various antelopes and most prominently birds.

The Pendjari National Park is an area of 2755 square kilometres in the far north-west of Benin. The park is part of the WAP complex (W-Arli-Pendjari) which is a vast protected area in Benin, Burkina Faso and Niger. The hills and cliffs of the Atakora range make the north-west one the most scenic areas of Benin. They provide a wonderful backdrop to the Pendjari National Park, which, in its isolation, remains one of the most interesting in West Africa.

The rocky cliffs of the area are sparsely wooded with Burkea africana, Detarium microcarpum, Lannea acida, Sterculia setigera and Combretum ghasalense. On the deep soils of some of the summits and the Atakora escarpment one finds a greater variety of plant species with Isoberlina doka and Afzelia africana. The Pendjari River has an impressive gallery forest. The park includes both Sudan and Northern Guinea savannas, with areas of grassland dominated by Acacia sieberiana and Mitragyna inermis or Terminalia macroptera. There are also large stocks of game including Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Buffalo, Roan Antelope and Hippopotamus. There is a high annual rainfall of around 1100 mm; the park is closed from May-December when it is flooded. In historic times the endangered Painted Hunting Dog, Lycaon pictus, has been found in Pendjari National Park; however, this canid, also historically found in the adjacent Arli National Park in Burkina Faso, is considered as possibly locally extirpated.

Argus, uleko, nasokoun, anel, roges, SunToucher, boreocypriensis, CeltickRanger, nglen, siggi, maurydv, jaycee, tuslaw, eng55, smitha, rousettus, horia has marked this note useful
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To horia: I hope soJamesp 2 01-12 07:49
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-01-02 2:00]

Happy New year to you James!
I must say i didn't know there were any elephants left in W. Africa!
This is a fine capture of the Forest species, the pose and POV being ideal to show the features of this laterite-dusty individual.
The composition in its habitat is excellent.
Thanks and best wishes,

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-01-02 2:01]

Hello James,
Thanks for your good wishes and for this brilliant capture of a wild Elephant! Fantastic view of it facing you and beautiful light and colours. Great sharpness and very well composed too! I envy you your adventures and hope you continue finding exciting wildlife in B.F.!
All the best wishes for 2010! Kind regards, Ulla

  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2010-01-02 2:03]

Hello James
Excellent capture with great details and natural colors

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-01-02 2:17]

Hello James,
I wish you a wonderful 2010 with a lot of discoveries in new territories.
Fantastic photo in great natural colours and in a affecting pose. Excellent sharpness and details. Good frontal POV and composition.

Happy New Year James!
full special photos like this!

  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-01-02 3:03]

Hello James,
Thanks for your kind wishes. You have really an exciting life! I really envy you for all the travelling you do.
And your elephant from Benin is almost coming out of the screen. What a vivid shot! And you have seen so much more wild animals...
I also wish you only the best for 2010
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-01-02 3:17]

Hello James,
above all a warm HAPPY NEW YEAR 2010!
Health, happiness and only happiness.
Come back to the beginning of the year with an outstanding picture, congratulations.
From now on we have available a whole year to be able to admire your beautiful photos.
Thank you very much for visiting my gallery taken on. And also for the beautiful comments you have left.
The best thoughts and wishes,

Hi James,
A very beautiful photo with a real feel of action captured at the perfect moment. I love the soft and warm colors and the great details in the skin of the Elephant. The almost golden glow on the skin is something I have never seen before in a photo of this giant animal. The OOF FG and BG give this photo a great sense of depth and makes it almost come alive.
Enjoy our stay in Burkino Faso,

Hi Big Bro James,

Awesome posting for the New Year:) cute and incredible!
i also wish you a happy and healty days in 2010!
All the best!


hello James

and also for you Happy & Healthy New Year,
this is one of TN's most beautiful Elephant photos,
with a very fine frontal POV and the way it is framed
on the image with leaving a good free space at the
right side of the image, and the Elephant's pose
& eye-contact bring dynamism to the image, TFS

p.s. i love Elephants as wild animals and your photo contribute
to create a personel theme of my favorite Elephant photos

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2010-01-02 10:20]

Hi James. A happy New Year to you and your family. I wondered where you might be for the New Year. It sounds like you had agood day yesterday with all of the animals to see. This is a fine close up of this Elephant. Taken with natural looking colours and fine detail. It looks as in a few years it will have a fine set of tusks. WEll taken TF.

Have a good trip.

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-01-02 12:49]

Hello James,
it's so wonderful to see so big and clever animal in your page. Wonderful photo with great detail and perfect focus. Very good DOF, nice color. I like it, TFS!
Happy New Year to you and your family!
Best regards Siggi

Hello James,
a fantastic capture of this Elephant taken from an excellent frontal POV in a very nice posture, very good sharpness and splendid natural colours
Best regards

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-01-02 16:09]

Hi James,

Happy New Year to you from Tucson! What a wonderful place to be for the holidays. A wonderful capture of this African Forest Elephant - I love those beautiful tusks and the patterns of his trunk. Superb colors and details of his skin, ears, and face. This is the way these animals should be seen - in their natural habitats.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-01-02 16:39]

Hello James,
A super image of this magnificent animal. Captured with fine detail, natural colors and just the right exposure!! Perfectly composed and shown in it's natural habitat. Great job!! "Happy New Year" to you also.

beautiful capture, almost like a painting, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-01-03 0:16]

Hi James,
I wish Happy and Healty New Year for you and your family too!It's an excellent capture of this elephant in his natural habitat.Exposure is spot on,details are crisp clear.I liked POV,lighting and composition a lot.
Thanks for posting..

Hello James
Excellent capture with great details and natural colors

hello James
sorry for my delay. I was away from TN for recent times. Firstly I wish you and your family a happy and healty new year. I hope 2010 will pass with good adventures and wonderful days for you too.
Congratulations on your 400th post. I hope we will see many hundred great posts from you for a long time. I learnt many things from your trip notes and photographes. thanks for all of them.
This is great selection as a greeting card. Great capture of forest elephant. Thanks for sharing it with good notes. best wishes

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2010-01-11 12:30]
  • [+]

Hi James and a belated Happy New Year!!!
I wish you only the best for 2010 and hope to finally get a chance and maybe even meet you (if i'm lucky and if i catch you) :)
This is a lovely photo again from you and one that beings your year very nicely.
I hope to see an African Forest Elephant in the wild too one day and just like you i hope to see some more wildlife right afterward, as well :))
The morning light really gave you some lovely colors while the shallow DOF isolates it nicely from all the vegetation around.
A very beautiful post from yet another interesting place you visited ;)

Cheers and only the best wishes

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