The first attempt didn't work. I had crawled out the side of the car, and as soon as they saw me, the retreated a ways . . . our profile is just too pronounced to them. And they don't like it.
I climbed back in the car, anxious to give this another go around. I was trying to get an eye level shot with them, shooting just over the grass. The plan this time was to circle them again. Drop me off on the back side of the car and let me lay down before the car moved. Hopefully they wouldn't see me as quickly.
It was a pair of black back jackals. Beautiful little things, no bigger than 30 pounds or so. But they were skittish.
We rolled back into position, and slipped out the back side of the car. Greg handed my gear down to me and I settled myself into position. The car rolled back 20 feet of so and I had a nice clear shot. I snapped a few pictures and started crawling toward them. It was painstakingly slow. Trying to move at all with a huge lens is difficult, but doing it from a commando crawl is just plain awkward. I moved 20 more feet or so, setting up for a few more photos. I captured this image in that second set. I was spotted just as I pulled my camera up. I was lucky enough to be in perfect position when I was spotted. They stood up, gave me one quick look and trotted further off, before settling again. I began moving toward them once more.
"You know" I could hear Greg start "You are an extremely trusting person. It would be so easy for us to just turn around and drive off right now. You know, just leave you laying here in the bush. You really don't know me that well, you don't know . . . we might"
I couldn't contain myself anymore, I broke out in laughter. I could hear everyone in the car do the same. I turned around and the car just erupted in laughter.
I stood up, from my neck down to my toes, soaking wet and covered in mud. Completely worth it.
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