A big herd of over 70 African wild elephants piqued the interest of a wildlife photographer after they were observed together visiting a waterhole in Kruger National Park. Graeme Mitchley, an amateur wildlife photographer, snapped the big herd during a day trip in South Africa in early April. The apparently endless stream of elephants spent more than five minutes drying down, rehydrating, and enjoying a green-tinged feast at the waterhole.
Many young may be seen frolicking, fully immersed in the water, as the rest of the herd trumpets in delight. “This is the biggest elephant herd I’ve ever seen,” commented Graeme. “It was a fantastic experience that I wish to repeat.” They are very beautiful creatures, and I enjoy being around them.” Elephants are very gregarious animals who express their joy by trumpeting and grumbling lowly. “I consider myself quite privileged to be able to participate in this.”
Many older females may be observed helping one another to keep the vast herd together. The amusing infants appeared to stay close to the matriarchs, who are thought to be approximately 50 years old, during the whole movie. “Mothers would be quite experienced to keep such a vast herd together and secure,” the photographer remarked. The amount of young in the herd, ranging in age from a few months to puberty, demonstrates extremely good herd leadership. “The young bulls will have to leave the herd shortly because they will want to mate with the females, which irritates them.”