Queen of the Jungle – Prints for Wildlife 2021August 2, 2021 2:39 pm
This year I have donated my image “Queen of the Jungle” to the Prints for Wildlife campaign. This years’ campaign is again in support of African Parks and I feel very fortunate Odzala-Kokua National Park in the Republic of Congo was my final trip before lockdown struck in March 2020. Odzala is one of the parks managed by African Parks and it seems apt to be able to share the image this image from the park.
This is the story behind the image
Much maligned in many places, the Spotted Hyena is queen of the jungle in Odzala-Kokua National Park in the Republic of Congo. With Lion and African Wild Dog locally extinct, these animals are the apex predator, top of the food chain together with the rarely seen leopards. Despite inhabiting an environment less commonly associated with hyena, the small, but isolated population is seemingly thriving, in large part thanks to African Parks who have managed Odzala since 2010, protecting one of Africa’s oldest national parks.
As in all healthy ecosystems, a good predator/prey dynamic is vital and so Odzala’s hyena play a key role in maintaining the balance. They are known take on the forest buffalo and are even believed to prey on Odzala’s forest elephants. However they very much operate in the shadows, stalking the dense jungle game paths and the open clearings after dark. It was therefore a huge surprise to come face to face with the individual in this image in day light, very much a a fleeting encounter while wading through the swamp and streams of Lango Bai early one morning. All wildlife encounters on foot are special, but to meet this top carnivore in the lush forest of Odzala was particularly special and I felt very lucky to be able to capture this image with a backdrop that affords a sense of place, the unique home of Odzala’s forest hyena.
To purchase this image and support African Parks in their mission to conserve Africa’s remaining wild places, please visit the Prints for Wildlife website at www.printsforwildlife.org. Please check out the other Odzala images in this year’s Prints for Wildlife campaign by African Parks’ Odzala Park Manager Jonas Eriksson (@jonas.abana) and talented photographer Jonathan Lee (@jonathanzlee).
This year I have donated my image “Queen of the Jungle” to the Prints for Wildlife campaign. This years’ campaign is again in support of African Parks and I feel very fortunate Odzala-Kokua National Park in the Republic of Congo was my final trip before lockdown struck in March 2020. Odzala is one of the… read more
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I am an Australian/Danish photographer living in London. My passion for photography emerged from a lifetime of travel, a love of nature, and a desire to capture images of some of the incredible places and moments I have been fortunate to enjoy.
I have been incredible fortunate travel formed a big part of my childhood and, now living in the United Kingdom, it continues to be a big part of my life for both work and pleasure. From a personal perspective, photography allows me to capture memories and to also share images from my experiences around the world. In particular, I hope, in some small way, my images can contribute to a greater appreciation of the beauty of the natural world and the world around us.
I am also passionate about conservation and I believe in giving back to the environment. I am committed to donating 100% of the profits from the images I sell to various wildlife and environment related causes. I have also become a director for African Parks UK. African Parks is a non-profit conservation organisation founded in 2000 and an organisation striving to protect some of the most important conservation areas in Africa through long-term management of national parks in partnership with governments and local communities. African Parks currently manage 18 national parks and protected areas in 11 countries covering over 14.1 million hectares. Learn more about African Parks here: http://www.africanparks.org
Please follow my latest adventures and images via Instagram: @matttoddphotos.
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