The ten best AR wildlife photos of 2017

The year 2017 saw the emergence of an entirely new photography genre: Augmented Reality Wildlife Photography. Through Safari Central, people all over the world were able to become wildlife photographers without having to fly thousands of miles, crawl through swamps and wait for days before you could snap a photo of your favourite rare bird. Here are our ten favourites!

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Abhilash Krishnan
Ethyl the grizzly bear

Ethyl is a 20-year old grizzly bear who likes to wander - a lot. Tracking data shows that she walked over 2,800 miles through Montana and Idaho in 3 years. She crossed high mountains as well as highways, apple orchards (from which she was kindly asked to leave - twice), and even people’s backyards.

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Jake Manion
Lola the black rhino

Lola is a 10-year old female black rhino living on Ol Pejeta Conservancy in central Kenya. Lola was orphaned at birth and needed a lot of help from loving caretakers. She now roams free throughout the Conservancy, often in the company of her friend Nabuul, who was also rescued by Ol Pejeta as a young calf. Everyone is eagerly awaiting the day that Lola has a baby of her own.

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Our biggest AR star: Mweturia the Elephant.

Everyone loves elephants, but loving Mweturia unconditionally is not easy for the people living in the Laikipia region of central Kenya. Mweturia is one of a few bold males that has mastered the art of breaking electric fences in order to raid farmland under the cover of darkness. It's no fun to see your maize harvest become an elephant's midnight snack!

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This AR star has earned her spots

Female jaguars are real girl bosses: they have to care for and protect their cubs, and do all of the hunting, all on their own! Atiaia, (ah-tee-eye-ah) meaning “the one who brings light,” is one of the few remaining jaguars in the Iguacu National Park in Brasil, and one of the favourite animals of our players, judging by the dozens of photos made with her in the app. 

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This is one of the many things conservation organisations have to do in order to get poachers convicted

The cameras generally stop rolling after the poachers are caught, but the work of conservation organisations does not end there. Did you know they often have to help keep up the pressure to prosecute poachers, making sure witnesses get to trial hearings, or liaising with the authorities so key evidence like tusks are at court on the right day? One of our partners, Space for Giants, has a court monitoring unit, which keeps track of cases against poachers to ensure justice is truly served. It's one of the many reasons why Safari Central was developed: to get the public engaged in conservation and to raise funds for all the different activities that ensure wildlife has a future.

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Augmented Reality Wildlife Photography Tutorial

You too can be a wildlife photographer, and without travelling thousands of kilometers across the globe, purchasing expensive camera equipment and waiting in a swamp all day for the perfect picture. Just download our free app and start snapping away! Here are some tips for beginning Augmented Reality Wildlife photographers. 

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Anne Miltenburg