British Photographer Captures Images Of Kenya's Rare 'Big Tusked Queen'
Great moments are best kept in a photograph. It gives people easy access on reminiscing the good times and the past. Just like how Will Burrard-Lucas, a British photographer gets a shot of a lifetime on capturing the beauty and magnificence of Kenya’s ‘Big Tusker’ - who he calls the Elephant Queen - that freely roams around the natural landscape of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.
The huge female elephant with long tusks curving right above the ground is a rare and extraordinary sight as there are only less than 30 kind of them that still exist in Africa.
“It was just incredible,” Burrard-Lucas tells CNN Travel. “Especially in this day and age where these elephants with long tusks are so rare.”
In hopes of raising awareness about the animals, the British photographer was able to capture a series of black-and-white photographs of this beautiful elephant in partnership with the Tsavo Trust, a local not-for-profit group.
Living in Tanzania for some time when he was a child, Burrard-Lucas interest in wildlife photography sparked.
“My earliest memories are of safari and wildlife and ever since those days I’ve had this passion for the natural world,” he says.
Using a remote controlled buggy with a DSLR or mirrorless camera mounted on top which can be used to film and photograph wildlife at very close range known as a “Beetlecam”, he was able to took images of the elephant in a very close range like as if he was there in front of it.
“Over the years I’ve used it on various projects, and for this project, it’s really to show and emphasize the size of these animals,” he adds. “I hope people are inspired to care about the natural world and, if they want to, to support organizations like the Tsavo Trust who are working so well to keep these animals protected.”
An upcoming book titled “The Land of Giants”, conceived by the Tsavo Trust as a means of raising awareness and funds, showcasing 150 shots of the Elephants of Tsavo, will feature the photos capture by Burrard-Lucas.
F_MU1, an elephant who died of natural causes after her last shots was taken, is the main subject of Burrard-Lucas’ photographs. As posted in his blog, it is known that the elephant survived poachings and it's been a miracle she was able to live through it.
“I find [the photos] inspiring to look at because it’s just very positive and inspiring to think that elephants like this are still out there — they haven’t been hunted or poached,” he says hoping the photographs would spark everyone’s awareness.
The Tsavo Trust works together with the Kenya Wildlife Service to provide support in conservation efforts — including anti-poaching patrols.
It’s not Burrard-Lucas first time experience in capturing last second events, he previously took a photograph of a rare black leopard, which was shared widely online.
The photographer says that elephants with tusks like the one are even rarer than the black leopard.