British wildlife photographer, Will Burrard-Lucas, in partnership with Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service, has photographed a remarkable female elephant in Kenya.
Her tusks were so long that they scraped the ground in front of her as she walked. If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her. These are amongst the last images ever captured of her, for shortly after they were taken, she died of natural causes.
The images show the old elephant drinking at waterholes, eating acacia branches and striding towards the camera. The pictures were taken with BeetleCam – a remote-control camera buggy first developed by Will Burrard-Lucas in 2009 to capture close-up photographs of potentially dangerous African wildlife. The technique provides an intimate and spectacular perspective, showing the elephant’s amazing tusk stretching down towards the camera.
Elephants of Tsavo
Tsavo in Kenya is home to some of the last remaining “big tuskers” – elephants with tusks weighing in excess of 100lbs on each side. It is thought that there are less than 20 of these elephants left on Earth, and almost half of them are in Tsavo. Many of them live in remote, inaccessible areas and are rarely photographed. For the book, Tsavo Trust helped Will Burrard-Lucas track down and photograph two cow tuskers and four bull tuskers, including “LU1”, the largest of all.
Land of Giants – The book
These photographs are part of a larger series documenting the elephants of Tsavo and the work of Tsavo Trust. The full series is published in a new book titled “Land of Giants”.
The book features 150 previously unseen black and white photographs, taken over the course of an expedition in 2017 and two expeditions in 2018. Approximately a third of the images were captured with BeetleCam, making this the first significant collection of BeetleCam images ever to be published in a book.
The aim of the book is to support Tsavo Trust and communicate an inspiring message: that these amazing elephants are still out there and it is not too late to save them. Land of Giants will be released on 20th March and is available to pre-order from WildlifePhoto.com and Amazon UK. Learn more at landofgiantsbook.com
Richard Moller founded Tsavo Trust in 2012 to support Kenya Wildlife Service in conserving wildlife, combatting wildlife crime and supporting local communities.
In an urgent response to a terrible surge in poaching, Tsavo Trust’s “Big Tusker Project” was established to secure a future for the tuskers, before they were lost forever.
The challenge of protecting an area the size of Switzerland, with limited resources, is immense. However, Tsavo Trust is making a crucial and tangible impact through teams patrolling on the ground, regular aerial reconnaissance flights, community outreach initiatives and intelligence activities.
Will Burrard-Lucas is a British wildlife photographer. Since 2010 he has been a fulltime photographer and in 2013 he founded Camtraptions Ltd to turn his inventions for wildlife photography into products for other photographers and filmmakers. He is best known for using remote-control cameras and camera traps to capture close-up images of wildlife. [Official Website]