Original Art

Who Am I? Where Am I

A weary newborn elephant stares out at the world from under its mother’s belly. After 22 months in the security of that wonderful hammock, the mother’s womb, the infant drops into a forest of giant legs, heat, and dust. And within hours it must keep up with the giants, not an easy adjustment to make! Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa
Alrene Gawne

The Watchful Eye

Under the watchful gaze of its mother, a newborn Addo elephant unfurls its kite-sized ears. This can take a few days to occur after birth because the baby’s ears were firmly pressed against its head during the 22 long months of development in its mother’s womb. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa.
Alrene Gawne

African Heat

After a morning spent feeding in the scrub brush, an elephant family heads for a drink and a refreshing wallow at Hapoor waterhole. In the oppressive heat of midday, it is a real struggle for one young baby to keep up in the dust under giant feet. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Coming In

A baby elephant hurries to keep up with its family herd as they rush to water. Youngsters are expected to stay close and keep the pace. But if one is lost or knocked about in the tumult, the mother and aunties will stop to help. Seldom is a young one one ever hurt in the headlong rush. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Leaving Now

A weary young elephant is led away from Hapoor waterhole by its mother and aunt. It is time for the adults to feed in the spekboom, or scrub, but this tiny calf is too young (under 4 months of age) to eat solid food. All he really wants to do is lay down and enjoy a solid sleep. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa.

Alrene Gawne

Protection

A tiny elephant inquisitively peers out from under its mother’s bristly tail, while an “auntie” stands watch nearby. A newborn calf has poor vision, which makes it extremely vulnerable in the forest of massive elephant legs. If the baby strays from its mother’s side, its auntie will will follow it and usher it back to its mother. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Maturity

An elephant bull is sexually mature by 12, but they do not experience the annual testosterone rush, called musth, until 30. A musth bull is extremely aggressive and all elephants will defer to him, however, females prefer to mate with him! This mature male will expend great energy pursuing females for the 2-3 months of his annual musth phase. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Infinity, Study II

As the African sun sets, it dominates the landscape. An elephant bull striding toward the horizon, looks as though he is moving into Infinity. Africa shares these primal images generously. Perhaps that is the magic that keeps drawing me back.

Alrene Gawne

No You Don't

Older brothers and sisters are expected to mind their youngest sibling, but that can be a difficult job if the youngster is in a rambunctious mood. When all else fails, the babysitter will employ its sturdy trunk to keep the youngster literally in line. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Hot Afternoon Drink

Two young elephants savor a drink on a hot afternoon. They have learned how to suck water up into their trunks and then squirt it into their mouths. It can take a baby elephant from 4 months to a year to learn to control the over 80,000 muscles in its amazing trunk. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Safe to Rest

A tired young elephant rests his head against its mother’s rear leg, both for comfort and security. Brief naps like this are taken throughout a day, standing up, but always close to mother. Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Stay Close

This newborn elephant is unsteady and its eyesight is poor, so it must stay between its mother and older sibling. But the larger calf seems to be using a bit too much force – sibling jealousy perhaps? It may soon be corrected by the auntie towering behind them! Addo Elephant N.P., South Africa

Alrene Gawne

Being King

Alrene Gawne

Being Queen

Alrene Gawne