African Wild dogs, South Luangwa National Park, Zambia.
The African wild dog (also known as Painted wolf, derived from their latin name Lycaon pictus), has always been my favourite African animal. Early in my time living in the Greater Kruger National Park in South Africa, I was lucky to become involved with a translocation of a pack of 7 of these endangered dogs by the Endangered Wildlife Trust to the region of the reserve where I worked. The pack spent several months in a holding Boma so that they could bond before release. During this time and then after release I was part of the team of locals who assisted with monitoring the pack. I have so many incredible memories with that pack of amazing wild dogs, their social structure is incredibly fascinating, and it was a real joy to be able to spend extended amounts of time with them.
Unfortunately wild dogs are endangered and they also roam over huge areas so having the opportunity to see them is always a real privilege. The two in this image were part of a fairly small pack that we saw a couple of times whilst running a photographic safari with Edward Selfe in the Nsefu sector of the South Luangwa National Park, in Zambia. On this occasion the pack were resting in the shade, waiting for the heat of the day to subside. I loved the composition of these two, the dog in the background, a subtle presence keeping guard, whilst the others rested and a reminder that they are pack animals dependant on and devoted to their families.
Like many of my artworks the style and colours then seemed to evolve themselves, with several textured images layered in and allowed to show through in varying degrees – I had focused on blues and turquoise shades with the intention of this being an image that would sit within my Out of the Blue series (the third in the series after the Elephants in Kidepo and Lions from South Africa). The background took on more of a painterly feel then the previous two images and the turquoise shades became more pronounced to sit alongside the warmer, richer tones still evident in their coats despite it being a monochrome image.
WHY AFRICAN WILD DOGS NEED YOUR HELP:
With just, an estimated 6,500 wild dogs left in the wild they are officially the second most endangered carnivore in Africa (after the Ethiopian wolf). Wild dogs roam over vast areas, often wondering outside of formally protected areas. Historically, they have had a hard time at the hands of people, suffering from a lot of persecution, particularly amongst farmers. Perceived as a threat to livestock they were portrayed as vermin and openly killed until they were finally declared as protected in more recent years. Unfortunately by then they were already extinct in several African countries and their numbers had plummeted where they had managed to survive, bringing them to the verge of complete extinction.
Many people outside Africa, have no idea that this beautiful enigmatic species exists, far less that it is endangered and on the verge of extinction. However, recent documentaries – like the BBC’s dynasties series, which followed the fortunes of Tait and her daughter Blacktip and their packs in Mana Pools National Park, Zimbabwe have gone a long way to garner this species increased support and recognition.
Whilst the picture is certainly bleak there are opportunities for hope and optimism that it is possible to help this species and many others. I wanted to directly impact the very wild dogs and their descendents that live in the South Luangwa, a real stronghold for the species, and from my time in the valley, I knew of the incredible work of a smaller Zambian based non-profit conservation organisation. By purchasing this print, you will support the incredible work being done by them to protect some of Africa’s most endangered species. I will donate 20% of the profit from every sale to the Zambian Carnivore Program to assist them in their incredible work to conserve the large carnivores and the ecosystems they reside in through a combination of conservation science, conservation actions, and comprehensive education and capacity-building efforts. If you would like to find out more about the work they do or support them directly yourself please visit their website here: https://www.zambiacarnivores.org/
Instead of offering bulk mass-produced prints, I want you to know that you are buying something special and unique. I feel that people should purchase fine art photography prints because the artwork speaks to them and they feel an emotional connection to the print and the photographer. All my prints are strictly available as low number limited edition runs. As a limited edition print sells its price will appreciate accordingly in the online store, as fewer remain available to purchase.
This picture is printed on archival grade fine art Hahnemühle Photorag paper. If you have not seen this before it a softly textured paper that gives a wonderful quality to an image, really empathising the idea of the texture you would imagine if the wild dogs were actually standing in front of you. It is a brilliant paper for bringing out the subtle tones and textures.
I recommend that when you receive your print that you have it properly mounted and framed by an experienced professional frame shop to ensure the maximum care and longevity of your artwork.
Should you wish to purchase a limited edition print in a different size to that listed, please contact me and I will be happy to discuss your requirements and provide a quote for the cost to produce the print in your desired size. I am also happy to provide quotes for framing or printing onto Chromaluxe if you would like to have your print sent to you ready for you to hang on your wall.