Hennie van Heerden's Wildlife Diary

August 13, 2011

Try it with a camera next time…

Filed under: 2011,August — Hennie van Heerden @ 3:58 pm

The other day I received an email with these pictures and the list in it. The result of a simple google search for whatever animal species and ‘hunting’.
I’ve decided to post them here and although the pictures come straight from the internet, no doubt posted there out of pride and vanity by the guys themselves, I’ll post them here unrecognizable.  

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against hunting in itself. I’m not a vegetarian and I know my meat comes from an animal and I’d rather eat meat from an animal that has had a good life, living free, than from one of our modern day bio-industry animals, who have had no life at all.

But what goes on in the minds of these people, who go and shoot endangered animals, animals that other people try to rescue from extinction, just for the thrill of it. Everything in this world is for sale, I know. But seeing this list (readily available on the internet) made me swallow hard. Cheetah? Their numberd have been decreasing rapidly. Millions of dollars are put in their conservation; money that comes from donations from people who care.

Roan, Sable and Tsesebe Antilope? Not many of those left either. Leopard?

 I bet that any animal that possibly could be on your wishlist is possible. It just comes down to the right price.
Polar Bear anyone? Tiger maybe? Or Rhino? Ah well, who cares if there, in the near future, will be none left.

There has been talk that some of these animals were especially bred for hunting camps. But does that make it right?

I would like to suggest something to these guys, who so enjoy the thrill of the hunt. Try hunting with a camera next time. The thrill is the same; the excitement of the hunt, the pleasure of spotting the animal, the gentle squeezing of the ‘trigger’, the aiming and finally, the capture. Oh yes, and not to forget the Trophy for your living room wall! 

Only in this way, both of you walk away unharmed….

August 12, 2011

Workshop Wildlife Photography: Red Deer Rutting Season

Filed under: 2011,August — Hennie van Heerden @ 7:29 am
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I have just updated my website with an exciting new Workshop: photographing the beautiful Red Deer in rutting season!

If you are interested in joining me at this wildly fascinating event on either thursday 15 september or friday 16 september, please follow this link for more information. (Dutch only I’m afraid).

August 2, 2011

Full speed ahead, mom!!

Filed under: 2011,August — Hennie van Heerden @ 2:23 pm
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Those of you that know me a bit longer know that I simply love to spend time on our boat, the Tembo. Especially sailing her to the Biesbosch, a beautiful wetland area in Holland, is really my favorite trip. The boat has a little tender, a green rubber boat with an electro motor, but the motor got broken last year. Since we, so far, haven’t had the chance to take the Tembo out for a trip this year (!), there wasn’t a real need to repair or replace the electro motor of the rubber boat. But last week we received a phone call that the new motor was ready to be picked up.

A couple of days before, I had seen a couple of Grebes with chicks in the channel alongside the road I drive almost every day. I had tried to photograph them but the banks are steep and covered in thick reeds. But I really wanted to get low perspective shots of this cute little family. So when the motor arrived I had a brainwave and pursuaded Hans to bring the rubber boat to the channel. Put it in the water, attached the brandnew electro motor and off I went! (much to the amusement of the many people in cars driving next to the channel. Imagine this woman, big hat, big lens, big green rubber boat…. must have looked like I was about to go crocodile hunting :-))

At first the Grebes didn’t like me very much.. Slowly, ever so slowly I approached and the first couple of times just passed them by, to make them get used to the boat and convince them that I wasn’t a threat. That worked and after a while I could gently overtake them, tie the boat to a reed stem and wait for them to swim up to me and pass. It was really cute; mom and dad both carried the chicks on their backs and every once in a while, the chicks opened their mouths really wide as if to cheer mom on: “Full speed ahead, Ma!!!”

  It was a really fun way to spend a warm summer afternoon!!

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