An elephant (Loxodonta africana) feeds on the roots of an aquatic weed, water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes) at one of the few surviving water pans at Mana Pools National Park. The general shortage of food in the area, shortly before the rains, makes water hyacinth a useful plant for the duration. Hyacinth is indigenous to South America, originating from the upper Amazon basin. It is one of the worst aquatic weeds to infest southern African water ways, out –competing indigenous aquatic plant species and causing oxygen starvation to fish and other aquatic creatures. Attempts at cleaning up this pest plant using biological controls, in the form of weevils, have partly eradicated the scourge, but its presence is still felt in most dams and still waters.
(Canon 7D; f/11; 1/60sec; ISO-200; 100mm)
Picture ©2011 Andrew Field – Simply Wild Photography