is a French woman (born 1990) who spent her childhood in Namibia among
wild animals and tribespeople. Her parents, Alain Degré and Sylvie
Robert, worked as freelance wildlife photographers. During her stay in
Namibia, she befriended wild animals, including a 28-year old elephant
Abu, a leopard nicknamed J&B, crocodiles, lion cubs, giraffes, and
many more. She also befriended the Bushmen and the Himba tribespeople of
the Kalahari, who taught her how to survive on roots and berries, and
to speak their language.
In Western Namibia, fourteen different herds of African elephant (Loxodonta africana) were unknowingly (or maybe knowingly, they’re smart) part of some pretty cool research between 2002 and 2009.
The research team were interested in assessing the capabilities of elephants to sense weather patterns; in particular thunderstorms. The results are really interesting and a testament to the endurance and intelligence of these beautiful creatures.
They have concluded that our giant friends can detect a thunderstorm from up to 300Km away, most likely through infrasound generated by rain systems, particularly storms, and furthermore, they can predict rainfall up to 12 days in advance.
Beat that, AccuWeather!!
The herds, which due to their location are subject to a prolonged dry season, simultaneously change their migratory path to head towards areas where rain is due.
Not only does this benefit elephants from a natural survival perspective, it also enables us to help assure their survival from anthropogenic pressures, such as the despicable act of poaching. Now, conservation efforts may be pin pointed so as to predict the herds movement and prevent the slaughter of these animals.
The unmarried men of the Ovahimba all wear their hair in a single plait extending down the back of the head, with the rest of the head shaved. This is called an ondatu and indicates their status in society, in which they are designated the role of herding cattle (something they take great pride in). There remains a strong affinity for tradition and culture in the Ovahimba community. The portraits thus depict conscious reflection on cultural and personal identity in a rapidly modernizing, globalized world.