I am often asked what is the most dangerous thing that has ever happened to me in nature, as if what I do is inherently risky or life-threatening. I never like to disappoint people, but my stock answer is this: "driving to the airport." The fact is that although there are real dangers in the wild world, I am vastly more afraid of humans than of animals.
Having said that, in India last month I had one of those exhilarating experiences that reminds me simultaneously of why I enjoy what I do, and that...well, stuff happens.
I was following primates in a remote reserve in Assam, when my Indian guide turned towards me with wide eyes and whispered forcefully: "hati, hati!" Hati is Assamese for elephant, and when one is coming towards you in the forest, it pays to go elsewhere.
I have seen loads of elephants before, but always from the relative safety of a vehicle. By contrast, seeing an elephant while on foot is a sure-fire reminder of how puny we truly are. I managed to get a couple quick shots of this approaching female and then happily retreated. It is imperfect, perhaps, but to me carries all the heart-pounding excitement of that moment. Driving to the airport may be more dangerous, but it is never this exciting...