BORN A PROBLEM

It seems that the birth of twin White-bearded wildebeest calves is a special occasion. None of the large number of highly experienced guides that were operating with us in the Ngorogoro conservation area  have ever seen it happen before and the unanimous verdict was that at least one calf will not survive.

So when the mother started rejecting the second calf after birth it was confirmation of all the prediction.These thoughts were further enhanced when a micro herd bull started to push the second calf away. In the CNP photography vehicle the floodgates have now opened with a few ladies showing their support for the poor calf with a healthy flow of tears.

After feeding the first born for a relatively long time the mother suddenly pushed the first born away and miraculously started feeding a very anxious second born calf. Within half an hour it was all over and a very proud mother galloped over the Ngorogoro plains with her two calves joining her. 

10:25:42 

Soon after birth the second born try to drink from its mother.

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.4 X Converter/ F5.6 @ 1/5000sec/ ISO 1000/ EV -1.3

10:29:38

A micro herd bull enters the scene, nearly crushes the second born calf. 

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.4 X Converter/ F8.0 @ 1/2500sec/ ISO 640 F8.0/ ISO 640/ EV -1.3

10:29:39 

The mother also pushes the last born calf away.

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.4 X Converter/ F8.0 @ 1/2000sec/ISO 640/ EV- 1.3

10:33:31

Now the micro herd bull is openly aggressive towards the second born calf in an attempt to push the calf away from its mother. It seemed as if every body decided that the mother is better off without two calves.

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR+ 1.4 X Converter/ F6.3 @1/3200 sec/ EV -1.3

10:38:21

The mother still nudges the second born calf away.

Nikon D810 with 600mm VR + 1.4 X Converter/ F8.0 @ 1/2000sec/ISO 640 / EV -1.3

10:54:01 

What a turn around the mother now pushes the first born away!

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.7 x Converter/ F7.1 @ 1/4000sec/ ISO 800 / EV -1.3

10:54:43

The second born struggles to find a position to drink from while the mother still pushes the first born calf away. 

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.7 X Converter/ F 8.0 @ 1/4000sec/ ISO 800 / EV – 1.3

10:58:59

At long last the second born calf can enjoy a good meal while the first born calf is pleading with the mom.

Nikon D810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.7 X Converter/ F8.0 @ 1/4000sec/ ISO 800/ EV-1.3

11:04:53

30 minutes later and the story ends well. Mother and calves enjoying the open spaces of the Ngorogoro Conservation Area.

Nikon 810 with 600mm F4.0 VR + 1.7 X Converter/ F6.7 @ 1/6400 sec/ ISO 800/ EV -1.3

 

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