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25 July 2005 @ 10:47 am
Tusker in musth  
The most feared animal in the Indian forests - a bull elephant in musth - totally unpredictable and known to charge at the slightest irritation. Bulls in musth are more aggressive probably as a result of higher levels of testosterone, and most other males will avoid a musth bull. Such bulls encountering each other with the herd may sometimes fight to the death. And because of all these fights, these elephants are easily irritated by anything - from trees to humans to cars to even other wild animals.

Notice the secretions from the temporal glands which signifies the musth condition. As soon as we saw this tusker, we stopped at a distance more than we usually do for other elephants. This guy then looked at us, twisted his tale and spread his ears out - signs that he could charge, but then decided that we were harmless and let us be. I was impressed by this guy, he walked right past us within about 30 feet and crossed the road and went on his way. If you notice in the second picture, his tail is chopped off - probably in a fight with another elephant.

This guy is a magnificient specimen of the great Indian tusker with beautifully curved tusks and a very nice standing posture.



cropped image.







 
 
 
Madsmmk on July 25th, 2005 08:44 am (UTC)
Superb
Two notes:
- could you post some details about the shot itself? Flash (musth!), shot distance, settings etc?
- Is there a place where I could see the uncropped side on image?

Excellent stuff. I am so happy to come across your photos - please keep posting pics...
Yathinyathin on July 25th, 2005 09:04 am (UTC)
Re: Superb
- could you post some details about the shot itself? Flash (musth!), shot distance, settings etc?

No flash (dont even have a decent one!). The elephant was about 30-40 feet from us and since it was overcast I used ISO 400 to prevent camera shake from affecting the sharpness. I was using the 105mm lens at f2.8 to get the max amount of light.



- Is there a place where I could see the uncropped side on image?

Dont have the side view with me right now, but will pass you the link tomorrow.
Yathinyathin on July 25th, 2005 08:25 pm (UTC)
Re: Superb
This is the original one. It was too close to fit properly in the frame and as a result, the already chopped off tail got out of the frame as well. :D