Chris Eckstrom@christineeckstrom

is a writer and videographer whose work celebrates the natural world and explores the coexistence of people and wildlife.

www.lanting.com/chris-eckstrom

50 posts 103,295 followers 75 following

Chris Eckstrom

Last night, @FransLanting was honored with the first Lifetime Achievement Award at the Wildlife Photographer of the Year gala ceremony in London’s magnificent Natural History Museum, and he was presented with a beautiful sculpture of a bull elephant. When I looked at the sculpture closely, I recognized the individual elephant! It was "Survivor," a famous elephant in Zambia's North Luangwa National Park, who has a distinctive hole in one ear. Survivor lived through a poaching holocaust in the 1980s and he was written up in Mark and Delia Owens' books "Eye of the Elephant" and "Survivor’s Song." We learned that the sculpture was inspired by a photo Frans had made years ago of Survivor. I can hardly contain my amazement, but even more, this lovely depiction of Survivor is such a validation of Frans's fundamental belief that every animal is a unique individual, worthy of our respect. I share that belief with all my heart.
There is a new elephant poaching crisis now, we are sorry to say. Frans and I respectfully ask that you consider supporting the organizations that can help stop the killing and secure a future for elephants. Proceeds from a limited edition print of Frans’s image entitled "Twilight of the Giants" will benefit their cause. Check the link in Frans’s bio @FransLanting to learn more.
@elephantcrisisfund @savetheelephants @wildaid @wildnetorg @nhm_wpy @lizbonnin @eichhornruth #elephants #elephantcrisisfund #ivory #nhm_wpy


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Chris Eckstrom

A flash flood was just subsiding when I trudged through muddy waters in Utah's Paria Canyon. We backpacked there for five days, and rode out the flood camped on a ledge inside the canyon, whose towering red rock walls have been sculpted by water over the eons and are awesome to behold. This spectacular place is part of the Paria Canyon-Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness Area on the border of Utah and Arizona. Paria is a masterpiece of nature, and it is one of many of America’s national public lands that are held in trust for all of us to experience. But like everything we consider precious, we have to work to keep these places protected. Many of our public lands are now under assault by those who want to open them to exploitation by private interests or sell them off for short-term gain. I encourage you to join the fight to preserve our public lands. This land is our land. Photos by @FransLanting

#ProtectOurPublicLand #OurWild @TheWildernessSociety #NationalPublicLandsDay #Wilderness #PariaCanyon


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Chris Eckstrom

This is a moment I’ll always remember, standing in the heart of the great sand sea of Namibia, in the southwest corner of Africa. Around me stretched miles of golden dunes, rolling in waves to every horizon. This area is known as the Sperrgebiet—German for “Prohibited Zone”—a former diamond-mining concession that was off-limits for nearly a century. That is part of what kept it pristine, and now it’s a national park. Namibia as a nation is less than 30 years old, but it has made groundbreaking moves, including making environmental protection and conservation of its natural resources a part of its constitution--the only nation in the world to do so. I love to share stories of inspiration—they lift my spirit in the telling. Today is another day I’ll always remember, and I thank all of you who help support the causes Frans Lanting and I embrace and share in our social media. Photo by @FransLanting, who lifts my spirit every day.
#Namibia #Solitude #Dunes #Sperrgebiet #Wild #Nature


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Chris Eckstrom

One of the last strongholds in the world for black rhinos is Namibia, in the southwest corner of Africa. Frans Lanting and I traveled to a remote region there called Damaraland with Simson Uri-Khob, the CEO of Save the Rhino Trust. We wanted to catch a glimpse of the fabled desert rhino, and Simson guided us to a beautiful female and calf, who roam free in a landscape with no fences. I share this video in celebration of World Rhino Day, September 22, and urge you to support the people and organizations who are working hard to secure a future for rhinos in the wild.

@RhinoDaySept22 @wildaid @world_wildlife @SaveTheRhino @lewa_wildlife #Rhino #SaveTheRhino #naturelovers @rememberingrhino


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Chris Eckstrom

Photo by @FransLanting. He is a primate the size of a human hand, and we encountered him in the jungle of northern Borneo. He’s a tarsier, and his features are designed for nighttime hunting—powerful legs to jump, sucker pads on his fingers and toes for clinging, huge radar ears to detect the slightest sound—but it’s his eyes that are truly extraordinary: They are 150 times bigger in relation to his size than are ours. He opens them wide to see through the darkness and hunt insects like katydids on the blackest of nights. Scientists consider tarsiers to be a model for the very earliest primate from which all others evolved long ago, and the way they touch our human emotions shows the connections we share. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting for more wonders from the animal world. @thephotosociety #Borneo #Primate #Jungle #Rainforest #Tarsier #Wonder


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Chris Eckstrom

We couldn’t believe our eyes when we found this astonishing blossom emerging from the rain forest floor in Borneo. It is the world’s largest flower, known as rafflesia, and it is three feet wide—the size of a tractor tire. Rafflesia is a mysterious parasitic plant that has no stems, leaves, or roots. It lives hidden underground inside a specific host vine and only expresses its presence when it swells up from the leaf litter and opens up as this otherworldly, electric-orange flower. Its petals are thick and rubbery, but they don’t last long in the tropical heat. Within hours, cracks appeared in the petals, and by the next morning, the bloom had collapsed. The second image shows another decaying bloom we found. Somewhere in its short life, flies pollinate the flowers, and tiny tree shrews disperse its seeds. Photos by @FransLanting. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting for more stories about the remarkable life of rain forests.

@NatgeoCreative @ThePhotoSociety @LeonardodiCapriofdn #Borneo #Rafflesia #Wonder #Amazing #Jungles #Naturephotography


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Chris Eckstrom

I love this image and this message. #Regram Photo by @FransLanting A gathering of bull elephants animates the dawn like only they can. You can almost hear their rumbling. I share this image in recognition of World Elephant Day, August 12, to celebrate the majesty of elephants and to draw attention to the organizations that have forged a strong coalition aimed at reversing the poaching crisis that has decimated elephant populations almost everywhere. The @ElephantCrisisFund was established by @SaveTheElephants in partnership with @LeonardoDiCaprioFdn and @WildNetOrg. They support the right people in the right places and they are making a real difference. Check them out and lend your support so they can do even better. And follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more intimate encounters with elephants.
@ThePhotoSociety @NatGeoCreative #Elephants #Respect #Dignity #Conservation #Wonder #Naturelovers #Botswana


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Chris Eckstrom

Video by @ChristineEckstrom It’s time to get up and a baby elephant just one day old is gently nudged to its feet by its mom. It was late November in Zambia’s Luangwa Valley, and the air was oven-hot in the midday sun. Some of the elephants had laid down to rest—including one who did something Frans and I had never seen before: She covered her face with one big floppy ear to avoid the heat and glare of the sun—watch how she flips it open before she gets up. As the elephants moved off into the shade of a grove of trees, they walked to the pace of the newborn. This is the way of elephant families, and it is one of their many nurturing behaviors that endears them to us. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting for more stories of elephant life.
@thephotosociety #SavetheElephants #Zambia #Elephants #Family #Motherhood #Nurture


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Chris Eckstrom

Video by @ChristineEckstrom “The Trouble with Cattle” It was difficult for me to document this. At day’s end, when all the tourist vehicles have returned to their camps, Maasai herders are bringing their cattle to graze inside the Maasai Mara National Reserve, whose lush grasslands are home to one of the most spectacular concentrations of wildlife in the world. In this video, filmed on assignment for @natgeo, you’ll see the herders bringing their cattle into the reserve as wildebeest in the distance flee. Then a cheetah mother with her nearly full-grown cubs watches an approaching cattle herd and the cats take off, one by one, heading in the opposite direction. In many areas outside the Reserve, people and cattle are increasing in numbers, pastures have been overgrazed and withered by drought, and the herders are seeking relief for their livestock. It’s a tough situation, and there are tragic side effects, including the occasional depredation of Maasai livestock by lions and other predators, which has led to retaliatory spearing and poisoning of wildlife. Help support the groups mentioned below, who are working to mitigate human-wildlife conflicts in Kenya. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting for more coverage from Africa.

@BigLifeAfrica @WildlifeDirect @AnneKTaylorFund @chamiltonjames @bigcatsinitiative @bigcatpeople @ThePhotoSociety @NatGeoCreative #MaasaiMara #BigCats #Cheetahs


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Chris Eckstrom

When you live as much of your life in the bush as Frans and I do, you have to get creative. We lived off the grid on assignment for @natgeo in Zambia, and to power my laptop I connected it to a car battery via an inverter to make notes and download video. Having limited access to power like this focuses your thoughts. Being off the grid and away from the world clears your mind to live every moment in the present, free of clutter, all senses open. It’s one of the things I cherish most about our fieldwork. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting for more stories of life in the field.
@thephotosociety @natgeocreative #Zambia #Adventure #Improvisation #WildlifePhotography #Creative #Apple #laptoplifestyle


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Chris Eckstrom

Video by @ChristineEckstrom By crawling towards them on hands and knees, Frans was able to get close to these two wild stallions as they were rearing up and testing each other’s strength. He had to trust that they would dance around him. The Oostvaardersplassen Nature Reserve in the Netherlands has become a remarkable habitat for these and other large grazing mammals that once roamed wild across Western Europe. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting to see more close encounters with these wild horses.

@thephotosociety #Horse #WildHorses #Oostvaardersplassen #aggression #wild #restoration #fight #rewilding


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Chris Eckstrom

Photo by @FransLanting Nobody messes with Salonga, the powerful alpha female of a bonobo group at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Congo. She has the physique of a bodybuilder, but she rules with the force of her personality. In response to a previous bonobo post someone commented “that looks like a human trapped in animal skin” and that is how I feel about this image. Stay tuned for more bonobo stories from our jungle expedition with the amazing @Ashley_Judd to support bonobo conservation. Check @FransLanting to see a really powerful female who looks like a true bodybuilder.
@LolayaBonobo @bonobodotorg @natgeocreative @thephotosociety #Bonobos #Bonobo #Apes #Matriarchy #Conservation


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