A gnu kicking up dust in the sunset over the Kalahari Desert in South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
This Southern right whale has temporarily adopted an extra calf, which is highly atypical behaviour as these whales can only produce enough milk for one calf. Location: Walker Bay, South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
Two zebras being friendly at the Etosha National Park in Namibia. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
A huge male lion up close and personal. Location: Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
Not all steenboks are as keen to have their photo taken as this one. Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
This photo was taken in the remote Savuti Swamp in Botswana, home to some exceptionally large prides of lions. Lone, half-grown male elephants weighing tons are the rather extreme prey favoured by these lions. “We spent a day and a half with a group who had just killed a young bull elephant. The picture is of three female lions having their breakfast. They spent most of the time with their blood-smeared heads buried in the carcass – they can eat more than 30 kg in a single meal – but from time to time they would look at us," says Trolle. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
The Namib Desert is dominated by orange sand dunes that are several hundred metres tall. Only the most desert-adapted animals such as the Oryx (pictured) can survive this harsh environment. The oryx feed on dry desert plants and no drinking water; however, their water need is satisfied by eating at night, when the plants are covered with dew. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
A giant white shark shoots out of the water in Gansbaai in South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
Meerkats popping out of their holes to sunbathe. Meerkats are normally shy, but this colony has been acclimated to human interaction. Location: Klein Karoo, South Africa. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)
This leopard, with its intense eyes, was captured on camera in the Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana, on the edge of the Okavango delta. (Photo: Mogens Trolle)

Photos: Eye contact with Savannah animals

A new photo exhibition looks deep into the eyes of Africa’s wild animals.

After a year doing fieldwork in Africa, zoologist and nature photographer Mogens Trolle returned to Denmark armed with no less than 65,000 photos of Africa’s wildlife.

He has now picked out 65 photos of up-close and personal encounters with African animals, which are currently on exhibition at the Zoology Museum in Copenhagen.

Magic moments captured on camera

“Like humans, wild animals have a private sphere. Occasionally, we get close enough to observe and photograph them in their element, unaffected by our presence,” says Trolle, who works as a zoologist at the Natural History Museum of Denmark, but who spent 2013 stationed in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana.

“If you’re lucky, you may even make eye contact. It’s these magical moments, when you get a glimpse of the animals' ‘personality’, that I try to capture in my pictures.”

All 65 animal portraits are featured at the ’Eye Contact’ exhibition, which runs from 2 February to 31 August at the Zoological Museum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the above photo gallery, you can see ten of the stunning photos from the Savannah.


Read the Danish version of this article at videnskab.dk

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