Wednesday, August 1, 2012

60 gallons of water a day!

Africa 2012 Journal/Sketchbook Entry:


"The first animal on my list to study is the Elephant! This is one of my favorite mammals and it is such a magnificent animal."

Africa 2012 sketchbook/journal entry 7/19/2012

In the hopes of being completely prepared for Africa I am working on studying a list of mammals and birds that I will most likely see while in Tarangire Park, Tanzania, Africa. Many of you may think that birds are my favorite animals and although they do hold a special interest to me alas they are not my favorite. Elephants, now that is a beautiful animal!

They are the largest land mammal with males weighing up to 13,200 lbs standing 11’ tall and ears that can be 6.5’ x 5’, just incredible! They can drink up to 60 gallons of water a day, 26 gallons at once. They have an ambling walk and move from 3.7 miles per hour to 8 miles per hour and when charging up to 25 miles per hour, that is amazing. Stay out of their way!

This is all incredible but I am really excited to witness their social interaction. The cow herds have a very strong bond and all in the herd will help to raise and protect a calf. Their cooperative nature can be witnessed by all of the elephants in a herd trying to raise a fallen member of the herd by other members standing on either side and trying to push the fallen elephant up.

A great video about African Elephants!
One of the most important issues that I came across while studying is the population loss of the African Elephant. In 1981 there was a continental population of 1.3 million Elephants and in 1986 the population dropped to 750,000! This is mainly due to the illegal ivory trade and to man’s insistent desire to populate, pave and own every part of our planet. I believe myself to be very fortunate to have this opportunity to go and see one of my favorite animals in their own habitat and I will do my very best to create work that captures these magnificent and grand animals!

Soon after I wrote this journal/sketchbook entry I started a new drawing, a drawing of an African Elephant. It is not yet finished as of this blog posting but below you can see a progress image.

Work in progress, African Elephant, graphite pencil, 7 x 10

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