John Spencer

Camera: Nikon D850

Lens: 300mm 2.8 afs II

Aperture: f5.6

Shutter speed: 1/640

ISO: 160

Description: Newly born maasai giraffe trying to get to grips with the challenge of standing for the first time

Story from behind the lens: During a short stay at Kicheche Bush Camp. Olare Motogori Conservancy we had moved off from watching vultures on a dead topi when we came across the mother with a newly born calf lying at her feet still wrapped in its amnionic sac. The mother was alone and constantly keeping an eye out for predators, particularly as the dead topi wasn't too far away. Over a 40 minute period the little calf made repeated efforts to stand but its coordination and motor skills had yet to kick in. Eventually after some maternal coaxing and licking, the little one eventually struggled to its feet. This image was taken just prior to the calf succeeding to stand and shows the struggle in getting its pesky rear legs to do as it commands. Once up the calf slowly gained confidence and began to master the art of defying gravity