Bornean Pygmy Elephant (Elephas maximus borneensis) - Danum Valley, Malaysia
Unlike last year I managed to photograph the elephants this field season! An interesting fact about Pygmy Elephants is that they're not actually native to Borneo, the ancestors of all Bornean elephants are thought to have been given as a gift to a sultan in 1395! The population that they originally came from was genetically distinct from other populations of Asian Elephants and unfortunately went extinct sometime after some were introduced to Borneo, this leaves the Borneo elephants as the last remainder of a group of elephants that had already diverged from the rest of the Asian elephants.
They're actually quite dangerous when agitated and have been known to kill people in Borneo, something that many don't keep in mind when encountering these elephants.
This one is actually a calf but is already massive, its mother and atleast one other elephant remained hidden in the forest nearby but we could certainly hear them and see the trees moving. We spotted these elephants on the road as we drove to Lahad Datu for supplies, we parked the car and waited, after a long while our wait paid off and this young elephant made its way out into the open. It didn't stick around very long but it was worth the wait.