Some of creation’s most magnificent creatures are going by the wayside.
The includes the majestic beast that is the elephant.
These graceful giants grow to be around 9 feet tall and can weigh around 13,227 pounds on average.
Unfortunately, their populations have drastically diminished due to things like poaching and loss of habitat.
According to Scientific American, both African and Asian elephant populations are on the decline.
It was estimated that there were between 5 and 10 million wild African elephants in 1960.
Now there is believed to be less than 500,000.
The Asian elephant population has also plummeted from 2oo,000 to 40,000.
Most scientists attribute the sharp drop to the demand for ivory.
Conservationists predict that elephants, which are the world’s largest land mammal, could be extinct within the next century if they continue to be hunted and their land continues to be taken.
But there are organizations that are trying to help replenish the elephant population. The Tsavo Trust is one of those organizations.
The Tsavo Trust and the Kenya Wildlife Service recently teamed up with British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas to capture one of the most remarkable elephants left on this earth.
She is known as “Queen of Elephants.”
This exquisite female elephant has tusks that are so long that they scrape the ground in front of her when she walks.
“F_MU1 was an incredible elephant. For more than 60 years, she lived a peaceful life in a quiet corner of Tsavo in Kenya. When I first saw her I was awestruck, for she had the most amazing tusks I had ever seen,” Burrard-Lucas wrote on his blog. “If I hadn’t looked upon her with my own eyes, I might not have believed that such an elephant could exist in our world. If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her.”
Photos of the elder elephant were captured right before she died of natural causes.
Burrard-Lucas was able to capture the images of the elephant in her natural habitat drinking from waterholes, eating acacia branches, and even approaching the camera.
The photos were taken with what is known as a BeetleCam, which is a remote control camera buggy that Burrard-Lucas developed in 2009 to get up close photographs of potentially dangerous African wildlife.
“F_MU1 was an elephant that few people outside Tsavo knew about. Photographing her, in partnership with Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service, was one of the greatest honours of my career, Burrard-Lucas said.
Burrard-Lucas’ photos are featured in a new book titled “Land of Giants” which document the elephants of Tsavo and the work of the Tsavo Trust. You can learn more about the book which supports the Tsavo Trust at www.landofgiantsbook.com.
Burrard-Lucas details his journey in taking photographs of Queen Elephant on his blog here. You can also get a behind the scenes look in the YouTube video below.
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Source: Will Burrard-Lucas