By Jamie Smith
This Ostrich will think twice before trying to split parents from their ten chick young again.
The male intruder was sent packing after a dusty brawl with a Dad of ten camouflaged chicks in the Kgalagadi Transfrontier National Park.
Wildlife photographer, Charlie Lynam, 58, was travelling both the Botswana and South African areas of the park with videographer Emma Franklin, when they spotted the scrap.
Charlie said: “My concentration was on capturing the action but we both were very scared for the chicks. The fight was over as quickly as it started with no clear outright victor.
“The father returned to his partner and babies, whilst the intruder made his way off.
“The chicks must have been overwhelmed but sought solace with Mum and thankfully nobody was seriously hurt.
“I was travelling in my trusty Land Rover Defender and took the photos from the vehicle.
“The drama, ferocity and rarity of the fight has to top the things we saw.
“It all came as quite a surprise! We’d just stopped as I spotted the tiny chicks with Ma and Pa in a lovely setting and thought I’d take a few photos.
“Suddenly the female Ostrich started behaving strangely, making odd posturing, lowering her head and sweeping her outstretched wings and feathers over her babies.
“I then noticed a male Ostrich, off to one side approaching the family, it became clear that this was the reason for her peculiar behaviour.
“As intruder approached the family, the Father confronted him and in an instant the fight began.
“Our thoughts were for the poor vulnerable chicks who were caught in the middle of the fight, with dust and feathers flying everywhere, right beneath the two brawling males.
“The males both rose to an enormous height, wings flapping, beaks snapping and those powerful legs and claws kicking violently.
I was pleased that I had managed to capture and freeze the action and provide a reasonably accurate account of this very rare occurrence.
I am constantly out in the field seeking new adventures and photographic opportunities, there is always a surprise in store in Africa.