Frans Lanting (@franslanting) — National Geographic Photographer || Author || Speaker || Creator of images, stories and events to inspire wonder and concern about our living planet.
Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are our closest cousins on the tree of life, along with chimpanzees, but we know less about them than we do about any other great ape because they only live in one of the most inaccessible parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We just returned from the Congo where we mounted an expedition to explore the world of bonobos. We were joined by @Ashley_Judd, who is as keen as we are to raise awareness about bonobos and the people who are working to protect them. We started our work at the Congo’s remarkable Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary, where we saw this male bonobo interacting with a young male in a moment that expresses the affectionate social interactions which are typical among bonobos. Please follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more posts about our discoveries. @thephotosociety@Ashley_Judd@LolaYaBonobo@Bonobodotorg#Bonobos#Apes#Empathy#Naturelovers#Explore
Photo by @FransLanting I’m offering this image of a rainforest in Borneo at dawn as a confirmation of its importance for global life cycles. Its forests exhale the oxygen and water that we depend on every day. Follow us @ChristineEckstrom and @FransLanting to learn more about our living planet. @natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeocreative@ThePhotoSociety@world_wildlife@conservationorg#Gratitude#Forests
Photo by @FransLanting This female black rhino and her calf are massive, armed with horns and protected by thick skin, and yet they are utterly vulnerable. All ears are pointing my way. Rhinos make up for not seeing well with a sharp sense of hearing. The calf is just curious, and has no clue what is going on. But we know what is happening to them across Africa and Asia. Black rhinos are in danger of extinction in the wild. And that is why I want to draw attention to them and to the organizations that are making a difference where it matters, in the hallways of governments and in the front lines of protection on the ground so that rhinos will have a fighting chance. Support the World Wildlife Fund in its efforts to establish an International Court for Wildlife Crimes; support Wild Aid for its campaigns to influence consumers in China and Vietnam and support the Lewa Conservancy for its efforts to protect a sanctuary for rhinos in Kenya. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories about rhinos and how you can help. @natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@wildaid@world_wildlife@SaveTheRhino@lewa_wildlife#wildaid#Rhino#SaveTheRhino#AspinallFoundationn#celebrate#protection#naturelovers@rememberingrhinos#rememberingrhinos
Photo by @FransLanting A family of elephants with youngsters and led by a matriarch is crossing a floodplain in the Okavango Delta. For elephants this place is heaven on earth. Plenty of water and succulent vegetation--and they are left in peace. Botswana has banned trophy hunting and pursues poachers vigilantly. The Botswana Defence Force’s mission has been extended from defending borders to protecting wildlife. An idea worth spreading. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more stories from Africa. @natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety#SavetheElephants#Africa#Botswana#Elephants#Conservation#Ivory
Photo by @FransLanting In the Arctic there is no animal as supreme as the polar bear, but as the ice wanes they become helpless in the face of changes they cannot cope with. Follow me @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom for more images of our changing planet. @natgeo@natgeotravel@thephotosociety#Arctic#PolarBear#Climatechange
Photo by @FransLanting Male emperor penguins are heroic symbols of fatherhood. After female emperors lay their eggs in the middle of the brutal Antarctic winter, their male partners take over incubation duty while the females go back to sea to replenish themselves. A male emperor incubates his precious egg by balancing it on his feet and he covers it with a brood flap to keep it warm. It takes up to two months for the eggs to hatch and during that period the prospective fathers do not eat or drink. By the time the chicks are born the males may have lost up to a third of their body weight. I spent a month camping on sea ice next to an emperor penguin colony in the Weddell Sea to document the parenting saga of these amazing birds on assignment for @NatGeo. I share this image in celebration of Fathers Day! Follow me @FransLanting for more images and stories of the emperor penguin and Antarctica. @Natgeo@natgeotravel@Natgeocreative@thephotosociety#Emporerpenguin#Penguin#Antarctica#Chick#FathersDay#Father#Fatherhood#Parent#Care#Nurture
Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are the least known of all the great apes and eerily close to us. When one looks you in the eyes like this male did, the boundaries between us and them become blurry. I’m back in the Congo to explore the world of bonobos. We are joined for this exciting expedition by @Ashley_Judd who is just as keen as @ChristineEckstrom and I are to elevate the profile of bonobos and to support the people who care about them. This is among one of my favorite new images I made @Lolayabonobo. Follow us @FransLanting and @ChristineEckstrom as we go deep into the heart of the Congo to learn more about the fascinating lives of bonobos. @natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@Bonobodotorg@Ashley_Judd@ChristineEckstrom@natureneedshalf#Bonobos#Apes#Empathy#Naturelovers#Explore
Photo by @FransLanting Bonobo females are powerful figures. They rule over males in their social groups, but they are also strong physically. Look at the muscles in this female’s upper arms. They’re developed for a life in the trees, but bonobos also move bipedally on the ground. This female was foraging in shallow water in the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary where she was brought in as a frightened orphan and nurtured into a healthy adult by an amazing group of dedicated Congolese bonobo conservationists @LolayaBonobo. Stay tuned for more bonobo discoveries as we head into the heart of the Congo Basin for a jungle expedition with @Ashley_Judd and @ChristineEckstrom.@natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@bonobodotorg#Bonobos#Bonobo#Apes#Matriarchy#Conservation
Photo by @FransLanting A family group of bonobos has gathered in a forest clearing. Only a handful of Westerners have seen bonobos in the wild, because they only occur in a nearly inaccessible part of the Congo Basin. I’m one of the lucky few and I’m excited to be back in the Congo for more field work aimed at boosting the visibility of bonobos and to support the people who care about them. We’ve teamed up with @Ashley_Judd and the Bonobo Conservation Initiative to do that. Follow me, @franslanting and @ChristineEckstrom to learn more about bonobos and to see some of my favorite new images made the last few days @Lolayabonobo.@natgeo@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@Bonobodotorg@Ashley_Judd@ChristineEckstrom@natureneedshalf#Bonobos#Apes#Naturelovers#Explore#Conservation.
Photo by @FransLanting Bonobos are remarkably tolerant of each other and they play a lot too. Here, a high ranking female is jostling with a young male while an older male is getting in on the game as well. You’d rarely see this kind of interaction among chimps where power plays are more common. Photographed @Lolayabonobo, a remarkable sanctuary in the Congo where we spent a few days documenting bonobos and the people who care about them. We are about to head deep into the heart of the Congo for a challenging bonobo expedition. We’ll be joined on this mission by @Ashley_Judd who is as keen as @ChristineEckstrom and I are to elevate the profile of bonobos. Follow us for more discoveries soon. @natgeocreative@Bonobodotorg@ThePhotoSociety@ChristineEckstrom#Bonobos#Apes#Empathy#Naturelovers#Play
Photo by @FransLanting From the air the boundary between protected tropical forest and adjacent commercial agricultural land in the Iguacu area of Brazil is a hard line and the contrast is striking. The contour lines in the agricultural land are drawn to stem soil erosion and that us a visible expression of land management. What you don’t see in the forest next to it, is its contribution to global climate stabilization. The smartest investment in combating climate change is to protect our forests. They’re the green lungs of the planet. This image is included in a new campaign by the Union of Concerned Photographers sponsored by @WeTransfer. I’m a member along with @amivitale, @MandyBarker, @JoelRedman1 and @lucalocatelliphoto. Go to we.tl/UCP to learn more about us and hear my perspective on forests and deforestation. (link in bio) #deforestation#preservation#conservation#forest#worldenvironmentday
Video by @ChristineEckstrom When you enter the nursery at the Lola ya Bonobo sanctuary in the Congo you immediately become a playmate for young bonobos, who wreak havoc with visitors. They’re strong, fast and skilled pickpockets too. What happened to those glasses I had in my pocket when I arrived? Hard to believe that these little rascals arrived at Lola as traumatized orphans who lost their mothers due to the insidious effects of the bushmeat and pet trade. Loving care from a team of surrogate human mothers gives them a new lease on life. Lola is the only place in the Congo—and the world— that is dedicated 100% to bonobos and their care. Check them out @LolayaBonobo and give them your support. And follow us @FransLanting, @ChristineEckstrom and @Ashley_Judd as we dive deeper into the world of bonobos and the people who care about them. @natgeo@natgeotravel@natgeocreative@thephotosociety@bonobodotorg#Bonobos#Bonobo#Apes#Naturelovers#Conservation#Wildlifephotography