No trip to Africa would be complete without seeing the largest land mammal in the world. It's truly amazing to think that in ages past, these would have been considered small compared to their prehistoric Mammoth ancestors.
We had been sitting in the jeep for a while, taking photos of all the elephants. When this male turned and started walking towards us we beat a hasty retreat. Nobody likes 5 tons of angry elephant advancing on them
I didn't know that porcupines even existed in the US until I saw this one up in a tree in Morton County, KS
This baby Baboon was hitching a ride on its mother's back.
Probably Olive Baboon, rediscovered this photo of it
This Big-Horn was standing by the side of the road at Flaming Gorge in Utah.
The quintessential large herbivore of America. There are several herds of them in Yellowstone, and they cause huge traffic jams.
Not the best photo, but I've never shot a bear before, and wanted to post something. Lighting among other things was terrible that day
This is the much much rarer species of Rhino and there were 2 family units living on the Masai Mara where I took this photo. Far too few I'm afraid, but hopefully the heavy crackdowns on poaching will allow these tanks-on-legs animals to climb back up in numbers.
These playful creatures are a ubiquitous site in the bays of Northern California. As you can see, they don't mind showing off for the spectators.
These large ungulates fill the niche that Bison do in America, ie. large grass-feeding herbivores.
This female Elk posed for some good photos. This was really the only opportunity we had to shoot large mammals with good lighting.
Seeing Cheetahs has been a lifelong dream of mine, and when we finally found three of them on an early morning safari, they were everything I hoped they would be!
Skunks are hardly the spray-everything menaces they're made out to me. Keep your distance and don't bother them and they're perfectly harmless, and allow for great photo-ops
Up at Banff National Park, these little ground squirrels were everywhere, and due to people feeding them, utterly fearless around people, whether this is a good or bad thing is up to you to decide.
You have to love these cuddly-looking seals. Though they are closely related to Sea Lions, seals are in the separate family Phocidae. These were lounging about on the rocks being lazy seals.
They may look big and lumbering, but Hippos cause more deaths in Africa each year than any large cat. With tusks going on 7 inches long and immeasurable jaw strength, these large creatures have no predators once they've reached adulthood. Lion no Crocodile is any match for a full-grown Hippo.
Unfortunately I was pretty far away from this mother and calf duo, but I couldn't help taking a picture of this charming duo.
This beautiful male Impala struck a great pose for me on one of our early-morning safaris. This animal typifies the deer species like Gazelle that roam the plains of Africa.
First things first: A Killer Whale is not a whale, it's a dolphin. Second, after seeing this one rip apart a California Sea Lion carcass, it puts the movie Free Willy in a whole new perspective.
Odd critter, there's another, larger species that looks really similar in a different genus
King of the Beasts. More than any other animal on Earth, Lions truly are at the apex of the food chain. Man might think its on top, but put him in the African savanna for a night, and you'll see who really comes out on top. This particular Lion is a young male, without the full mane of an adult.
This is a third subspecies that's common on the Massai Mara.
This family of Mountain Goats were just milling about a lake shore in Banff NP.
West of Kansas this deer species is pretty common, particularly in mountainous habitat. I don't know where I took this.
Managed to catch this dolphin species breeching alongside our boat on a pelagic trip out of Monterey Bay. An interesting thing about this species, is that it lacks a dorsal fin.
Found on a pelagic trip, these dolphins were schooling together and swimming with us as we motored around, always staying just barely ahead.
These can be found in western Kansas.
This is the subspecies of Giraffe that is found in Meru National Park
A torrential rainstorm had just passed through as we headed out on a safari, and we found these extremely wet Rock Hyrax huddled up and chittering angrily at us as we passed. It was a photo op too good to pass up!
This is the rothschildii subspecies of the well known giraffe. These were photographed on a reserve set aside for the specific use of these endangered animals.
The super-cute aquatic critters are a common site around the Monterey and San Francisco Bays. This is their classic position, all thats missing is a sea urchin for him to munch on.
Young lion sunning himself. A kitty is a kitty, no matter how big.
Like an antelope thats had paint tossed on it, these were a common site on the Masai Mara. Usually they were found perched on the abandoned termite mounds, as this individual is.
No trip to Kenya would have been complete without seeing one of our distant cousins (I think they're cuter). This mother had its baby tucked safely around her stomach as she shimmied up this tree.
These large pigs might not be cute and cuddly, but they do have a certain charm.
For such a essential part of the African landscape, I only managed to take a single photo of a Zebra