We had a fantastic exhibition at Denbies Wine Estate and our work was very well received — you can read the comments from our Visitors Book in my previous blog post.
However, there was one occasion where controversy erupted in the First Floor Gallery. I was chatting away to fellow exhibitor Ingrid Weel when a man came up to me and said: “Excuse me, may I correct you about one of your pictures?” Naturally I was intrigued, so I said “Yes, of course.”
The man took me to this picture of a giraffe with her foal which I had said I had taken in the Kruger National Park. The man said: “It’s a nice picture but it couldn’t have been taken in the Kruger National Park.” So I said, “I assure you it was.” The man said, “No it wasn’t.”
And so we went back and forth a few times and then the man said: “The reason I know that this cannot have been taken in the Kruger is because I was a ranger in the Kruger for 15 years and the pattern on the giraffe’s hide shows it is not native to southern Africa but to east Africa.”
Of course it was credible what the man was saying but at the same time I was 100% certain that I had taken the picture in the Kruger. I told this to the man and described where it had been, as I can remember exactly where it was: near the man-made waterhole at Berg-en-Dal camp in the south of the Park.
Still the man insisted it couldn’t have been possible, and I was at a loss myself to explain the anomaly.
Eventually the ranger mentioned that at some point some of the east Africa giraffes (with the “leaf” pattern, as it is known) had been moved to Johannesburg Zoo. I put it to the ranger that it might be possible that some of those Johannesburg Zoo giraffes might have been subsequently set free in the Kruger for some reason or other (as Kruger is not that far from Johannesburg and Berg-enDal is probably the camp closest to Johannesburg).
The ranger agreed that this might have been possible, but I could see he was still far from being totally convinced. However, I had no more suggestions to offer and I believe the Zoo explanation might be the most credible.
If anyone reading this has a better explanation then do please get in touch!
I won’t dwell on the other controversy involving this picture, when one visitor asked why I couldn’t fit the giraffes’ heads in my viewfinder …