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Fred Hoogervorst, Professional Nature- Environment and Travel Photographer, based in Gouda, the Netherlands.
The subjects focussed on, chosen either by personal initiative or by assignments, include tropical rainforests, African wildlife, coastal environments, Sahel desert and also remarkable area's like Island, Borneo, French Guiana, Seychelles, Uganda, Indonesia, Antarctica and more .... Based in Mozambique, Kenya, Tanzania, Bangladesh and Trinidad&Tobago, in earlier years yielded in a wide range of images from Sundarbans, Kruger, Amboseli, Masai Mara and Serengeti, the Caribbean and Indian Ocean coastal area's.
Many series of images showcast his sincere involvement with nature conservation, wildlife and livelihoods of people.
Visit also his GALLERY-WEBSITE: www.fredhoogervorst-photographer.com with SCREEN-SIZED PICTURES.
His photographic work is exhibited in a large number of museums and published widely in books, magazines, reports, newspapers, calendars and is in use on many websites.
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Kenya, Masai Mara National Reserve, the birth of a TOPI, Damaliscus jimela.
A trip in the Masai Mara, at the time of the short rains, on one of Octobers first days, I set off for the day. Slowly moving towards the Lower Mara Triangle, leaving the Oloololo Escarpment via the Kurao Plains. There are many Wildebeests, Eland, Burchell's Zebra's, Impala's and Thomson's Gazelles too. Amidst a small group of Topi's, a female is being chased off, at closer sight I see what is really going on: she is pregnant, or better yet, at the verge of giving birth, according to the small hoofs, peering out of her body! Appearantly the small herd of females is not eager to enlarge the risk of attracting predators such as cheetahs, lions, hyenas nor jackals and it forces the mum-to-be to take some distance to undertake her arduous task of delivery. The expecting female lingers on, than walks away firmly, leaving the small herd some hundred yards behind her. Every now and again she feeds on the high grass, watching the surroundings carefully, occasionally licking her behind and the already more and more protruding young. During half an hour at least, I follow in her footsteps, keeping distance. She lies down but she clearly doesn't feel comfortable as she tries hard to get into a different - more pleasant? - position. She gets up again and nevertheless still as an unexpected event, suddenly her offspring hangs down from her behind, before it lands on the soil. Instantly the mother turns to her young, she starts to lick it and she even eats parts of the membrane still covering the newly born calf. The young one, after its first minute, wet and vulnerable as it is, immediately initiates its first trials to get on its feet. Howerver, the legs are still weak and wobbly. The mother, pacing up and down, obviously bein on the alert for any possible danger, encourages her young with a tender push and a wet and warm lick regularly. Some ten minutes pass by, before the young Topi proudly stands on its legs. It's bright eyes look like the eyes of its mother, giving me a probing gaze and the little one already is probably being on the alert for any possible danger too. Than it is time to start its search for mothers milk. How sure it knows where to find its mothers nipples, approaching mum from behind, sideways from down under, and, after the first few sips, it soon drinks regularly of its mothers milk, without any hesitations what so ever as in where and how to find it. Within half an hour after its birth, the young Topi is gambolling and tumbling over and about alongside its proud mother, ready to meet with the relatives and to discover the world.