Flow Communications

The twitch of delicate, new wings emerging from a chrysalis. The turn of a feathered head and the glint of an eye. The intense focus of a meerkat. The implacable stare of a bearded dragon …

These are some of the scenes you’ll encounter at the Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary, near Stellenbosch in South Africa’s Western Cape province. It’s hard to take a bad photograph here – partly because you are able to get so close to the animals, all of which, apart from the butterflies, have been donated by their owners or conservation authorities.

This special and caring place is a sanctuary for animals that were unwanted pets or can’t return to the wild for some reason.

These photos were taken by Flow’s CEO, Tara Turkington.

Photography is a passion of ours at Flow. We’re also passionate about sharing the photos we take during the course of our work and travels with the Creative Commons community. This means all our photos are free to use for any reason (for example on a website, in a brochure or to illustrate blog posts), as long as you credit us.

There are more than 15 000 images free to view and download on Flow’s Flickr account, and this number is growing all the time. Our photographs have collectively attracted almost four million views since we first set up the account. Please feel free to visit Flow on Flickr, and to browse, download and use any photographs you would like to.

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The African purple swamphen (Porphyrio madagascariensis), previously known as the purple gallinule, has a wide range throughout sub-Saharan Africa. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A bearded dragon (Pogona vitticeps), from the arid regions of Australia. (Image: Flow Communications)
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The tiny blue duiker (Philantomba monticola), which occurs in southern, eastern and western Africa, and weighs less than 5kg. They are monogamous and mate for life. (Image: Flow Communications)
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An African olive-pigeon (Columba arquatrix), formerly known as a Rameron pigeon. These birds are indigenous to South Africa. (Image: Flow Communications)
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Chrysalises that will soon hatch, releasing common mormon butterflies (Papilio memnon) into the world. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A common mormon (Papilio memnon) emerging from its chrysalis. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A sleepy spotted eagle owl (Bubo africanus), indigenous to sub-Saharan Africa and parts of south Asia, including Oman and the United Arab Emirates. These owls are mostly nocturnal, so catching one with its eyes (half) open during the day is a lucky shot! (Image: Flow Communications)
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Female mandarin duck (Aix galericulata), a pretty duck from East Asia. See a picture of the colourful male below. (Image: Flow Communications)
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Male mandarin duck (Aix galericulata). (Image: Flow Communications)
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Meerkats (Suricata suricatta) love to find a high lookout point, from which to observe their surroundings. (Image: Flow Communications) (Image: Flow Communications)
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Close-up of a Disney-like Livingstone’s turaco (Tauraco livingstonii). (Image: Flow Communications)
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The common hill myna (Gracula religiosa) is actually a member of the starling family (Sturnidae), and comes originally from the hills of South Asia and Southeast Asia. (Image: Flow Communications)
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Chattering lory (Lorius garrulus), an Indonesian forest-dwelling parrot, classified as vulnerable due to trapping for the cage-bird trade. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A male eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus).These parrots, from Australasia, are remarkable for their extreme sexual dimorphism, with the males bright green and the females (pictured below) red and blue. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A female eclectus parrot (Eclectus roratus). (Image: Flow Communications)
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The red-crowned parakeet or red-fronted parakeet (Cyanoramphus novaezelandiae) is a parrot from New Zealand that is often known by its Maori name kakariki, which means “green”. (Image: Flow Communications)
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Military macaws (Ara militaris) are native to Mexico and South America, where they are classified as vulnerable in the wild due to the pet trade. They are a uniform military green in colour; hence their name. (Image: Flow Communications)
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A puffadder (Bitis arietans), a venomous snake indigenous to South Africa. (Image: Flow Communications)
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The Butterfly World Animal Sanctuary is a great place for kids to interact with animals and birds. (Image: Flow Communications)
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