I had a natural affinity with dogs. That served me well, to win the trust of Africa’s threatened ‘painted’ dogs. The result was some extraordinary photographs.
Curious, inquisitive, painterly-patterned in rich black, white and tan, a young pup steps closer and closer. Satisfied he’s safe he sits, sphinx-like, and watches me.
At five months, this African wild dog pup projects a tangible sense of self-assurance despite his youth. His huge ears turn like satellite dishes searching for a signal as he looks deep into my eyes. His own dark eyes seem to ask, ‘Who are you?’
Photography Jocelin Kagan (Image supplied) Photography Jocelin Kagan (Image supplied)
Reluctant to disturb my new friend – and even more so to fracture the fragility of our newly-formed bond – I lie flat, camera poised, and press the trigger.
Unperturbed, and as if expecting me to embark on a portrait shoot, the pup poses, turning his head, giving me his best profile. The result is the cover shot of my book, Africa’s Wild Dogs.
Cover of ‘Africa’s Wild Dogs – A Survival Story’ by author and wildlife photographer Jocelin Kagan (Image supplied) Photography Jocelin Kagan (Image supplied) Photography Jocelin Kagan (Image supplied)