The Human-Animal Bond

Working with captive animals allows for a unique perspective on the human-animal bond — the amazing friendships that can develop between these animals and the humans that spend time with them. The first research project that I designed stemmed from my interest in these relationships, and culminated in a study on elephant-initiated interactions with humans, available here, which found evidence of the human-animal bond between elephants and their handlers.

Words inevitably fall short when trying to depict just how beautiful and powerful human-animal relationships can be. The collection of selected photos, below, was taken over three years of researching elephant behavior in South Africa, is an attempt to capture moments between elephants and the humans they have chosen.