Sanctuary Chiefs’ Camp
Wild Adventures with Baroness Danuté LIFE IN THE WILD — A MOTHER GIRAFFE’S SAD STORY A mother giraffe gave birth to her baby when a leopard was in the area. He attacked the baby giraffe but was chased away by a pack of hyenas. The mother could not do anything to help. She was standing and protecting her baby. Her baby was dying in front of her and the hyenas had surrounded her, waiting in the bush, waiting for her baby to die. (Hyenas do not eat live animals. They are scavengers. They steal dead animals from lions, leopards, cheetahs, and so on.) The baby giraffe, as you can see in the picture, still has the placenta attached to her. I was taking these pictures and tears were rolling down my face. This is life in the bush. The next morning we drove into the bush and back to the mother and baby giraffe. We got stuck in the mud going there. (You can see our safari car and the other emergency vehicle that came to pull us out of the mud.) By the time we got to the mother and baby, the mother had left the area and the hyenas were eating the baby.
Baroness Danuté Professional Photographer The Tourist meets the Professional Photographer “C’mon, Danuté… come see the cobra.” “No, thank you.” “It’s in the street.” “They spit in your eyes and blind you.” Silence.
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SURROUNDED And held HOSTAGE by a Herd of Elephants The rains had subsided
so I and Ranger Sky left base camp in search of something for me to shoot. There’s nothing like the light and smell of the African bush after the rains. It’s beautiful. One second we were driving in silence and then all of the sudden, Sky said to me, “Danuté, there’s a bull and he’s spitting… he wants to mate with the female.” Sky pointed ahead of us. I saw the bull spitting white stuff. “Let’s go!,” I said. “It’s very dangerous,” he said. “I don’t care. I want to go.” So Sky took us closer to the elephants.
It happened very fast.
Just like the giraffes that were surrounded by the hyenas the day before, now I was surrounded – but by a herd of elephants. It was the first time I felt like I was captured by the animals I was photographing.
ELEPHANTS are so smart; like
Elephants are so smart; like people. They covered every road and blocked each one. Then they surrounded us so that we couldn’t move in any direction. It felt like we had been captured. We were their hostages. There were so many babies. I saw two babies on the road ahead of us. I sat in the jeep and kept taking pictures. The elephants were so close. It was a trip of a life time.
We were parked for about an hour when one of the younger elephants approached the jeep. He began playing in the dirt and tossing it into the air.
He got so close to me that he threw dirt at me but then some got into his eye. I laughed. It was as if God punished him for being mean to me.
The elephant used his nose to scratch his eye.
About another hour or so passed when one of the mother elephants and her baby came up to our jeep and started sniffing around us. Sky was worried about the bull in the back ground because the bull was getting closer to us, too. Sky got on the phone to alert base camp in case of an emergency. He was scared. “Don’t worry,” I said. “Everything is going to be fine.” I asked him, “What are you calling them for? What are they going to do – send in a helicopter to lift us out?” He started laughing.
You just have to relax. I mean, what can you do? 2013
The bulls are very aggressive when they are looking for a female to mate with.
Elephants are part of the â€œBig 5â€? and very dangerous. They can just destroy you. A jeep is nothing to a full, grown elephant.
And there were about 300 elephants and just us, in the 1 jeep...
Right after Sky hung up, another elephant came right up to our jeep. He was so
He tried to put his trunk under the hood of the jeep to turn us over. I had to sit still like the Statute of Liberty. I wanted to shoot. It was exciting. He was young. It’s a good thing he was young and foolish. Thank God, because he didn’t know how to dump the jeep. So he just shook us until he couldn’t get us to flip and finally got bored and left.
3 hours had passed... Finally, the herd turned around and went away from us. As soon as there was an opening, Sky started the jeep, put his foot on the gas and we roared down the road and as far away from the herd as he could get us.
There’s never a dull moment in the bush. Once it’s over it’s over. And it’s all very exciting because you survived. It’s was fun. I enjoyed it. 2013
Year of the Leopards
We got stuck in the mud so many times on this trip because of all of the rain. The day when we were by the leopards, I was wearing my orange shoes which caught the attention of one of the leopards. There we were, stuck in the mud again and still long enough for a leopard to walk right up to the jeep and sniff my shoes. Sky told me to take my shoes off but I wouldn’t. The leopard thought my orange shoes were red. Red means it is something to eat. When the leopards are that close, they really smell.
One night, a female leopard came to my tent. She was so beautiful. I just wanted to take her into my bed and cuddle her. You can’t do that with the young ones. You have to be careful.
I have leopard pictures that are so priceless from this trip. Leopards are so hard to find. This time, I found 3 of them. The last time I was in Botswana for leopards, Sky was also my ranger and we didn’t find any! This year I told Sky, “That’s that! I want a leopard. 2 years ago, you didn’t get me a leopard.” I call Sky “Eagle Eyes.” He has amazing sight. He sees everything. Everything happens so fast in the bush. When you blink, the animals are gone. It’s over. So the last time I was here, I told Sky to get a laser so I could see where he wants me to look. And he did.
Don’t tell me it can’t be done — it can. You just have to do it!
My Wild Adventures
Every Day is an Adventure in the Bush! If you’re here to tell the tales - you survived another day... We had 2 days of continuous rain so the soil was very soft. Every day was a real adventure getting wet, looking for animals to film. If it wasn't the rains that detained us - it was the animals themselves that we wanted to photograph. The next day, instead of the mud holding us up, we were held hostage by a herd of elephants for 3 hours. They blocked the road and we could not move. We were surrounded. It felt like we were captured by them. One elephant came up to our car to put his trunk under the hood of our jeep… As you know, I love danger...
Wild Adventures with Baroness Danuté chronicles her true life adventures on Safari in Africa!
Every day is an Adventure. It’s up to you how you use your next 24 hours...
Read it All In My New Book!
Wild Adventures Publisher Baroness Danuté Editor Rozanne Taucher Photographer Baroness Danuté
All rights reserved. Reproduction without the permission of the publisher is prohibited.
(No Baroness or animal was harmed in the making of this publication.)
Eye to Eye Winner Popular Photography August 2013 Issue
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Baroness Danuté and Rozanne Taucher are long time friends and creative collaborators.
“If we had all good moments all the time then life would be boring.”