Big 5s

Dr Paula Kahumbu

CEO, Wildlife Direct

“To me, it’s obvious that elephants must be Number 1 in the New Big 5, not just because they’re big in size but because they dwarf us in every aspect. Their physical attributes and their sense of hearing and smell are amazing in all the animal world but to be able to hear through vibrations detected on their feet and tips of their trunks gives them a kind of magical quality.

We will always stand in awe at the feet of elephants. They are so human, but not humans like we are, but a much better version of humans that we simply will never be. I’m talking about their intelligence, their ability to comprehend and navigate over vast landscapes, how they use diverse habitats, and their incredible family loyalty. Then there’s their legendary memory.

When I photograph elephants, I sit and wait with them. They know I’m there and they seem to pose. Their faces are always smiling because of their tusks, and their bodies, cartoonish ears and ridiculous trunks, fossilized-look skin, gleaming tusks all create fantastic opportunities to play with light, colour and shadows.

Then there’s their behaviour and interactions – they are so entertaining. Every photo captures an elephant but we will never capture the real essence of these spectacular beings.”

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Photo by Dr Paula Kahumbu

My Big 5

    Elephant
    Giraffe
    Mountain Gorilla
    Polar Bear
    Tiger

Dr Paula Kahumbu

CEO, Wildlife Direct

“To me, it’s obvious that elephants must be Number 1 in the New Big 5, not just because they’re big in size but because they dwarf us in every aspect. Their physical attributes and their sense of hearing and smell are amazing in all the animal world but to be able to hear through vibrations detected on their feet and tips of their trunks gives them a kind of magical quality.

We will always stand in awe at the feet of elephants. They are so human, but not humans like we are, but a much better version of humans that we simply will never be. I’m talking about their intelligence, their ability to comprehend and navigate over vast landscapes, how they use diverse habitats, and their incredible family loyalty. Then there’s their legendary memory.

When I photograph elephants, I sit and wait with them. They know I’m there and they seem to pose. Their faces are always smiling because of their tusks, and their bodies, cartoonish ears and ridiculous trunks, fossilized-look skin, gleaming tusks all create fantastic opportunities to play with light, colour and shadows.

Then there’s their behaviour and interactions – they are so entertaining. Every photo captures an elephant but we will never capture the real essence of these spectacular beings.”

Photo by Dr Paula Kahumbu

My Big 5

    Elephant
    Giraffe
    Mountain Gorilla
    Polar Bear
    Tiger

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