The scales of fortune
The elusive ground pangolin is the holy grail of safaris, so Tristan was thrilled to encounter one while out one evening. ‘I was fascinated by how it walked on its hind legs – much like some dinosaurs,’ he says. As the armour-plated creature shuffled past, Tristan used a spotlight to highlight its solitude in the darkness. The pangolin’s ambling gait is partly due to the large claws on its forefeet, used to demolish nests of its ant and termite prey. When moving, pangolins tuck these claws beneath them and run on their hindlegs, using their tail to balance. If unable to escape they curl into a tight ball, impregnable to all but their largest predators.
Canon EOS 7D + 70-200mm f2.8 lens; 1/200 sec at f2.8; ISO 400; spotlight.
Lion Sands Game Reserve, Mpumalanga, South Africa
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Tristan Dicks, South Africa
Tristan was exposed to wildlife from an early age. He grew up in Johannesburg, but spent most of his holidays in the bush areas of South Africa. After finishing school, he realised that the city wasn’t for him and moved to the bush to become a professional safari guide. Tristan invested time in photography to capture the incredible animals he was fortunate to see on a daily basis.