Elephants are, without a doubt, one of the most majestic creatures walking the Earth. Despite being around 3m (9 feet 107⁄64 inches) tall and African elephants weighing about 6000kg (13,227 pounds) on average, they are gentle giants, known for their empathy and strong family bonds. Unfortunately, there are people in the world that don’t see the gentle nature in the animal when they look at them, they see a profit.
Research conducted between 2002 and 2011 by Maisels et al estimated that the world’s forest elephant population was reduced by 62%. The organization also reports that the increasing demand for ivory is the primary reason for ᴘᴏᴀᴄʜɪɴɢ.
For more than 60 years, the elephant known as F_MU1, roamed the plains of Tsavo, Kenya. She was one of Africa’s last remaining “super tuskers” – so called she ” a queen elephant” because their tusks are long enough to reach the ground.
Towering high above the Kenyan landscape, this female elephant is huge, her long tusks curving right down to the ground.
Known as a “queen elephant ” she’s a rare and extraordinary sight — it’s estimated that fewer than 30 of these animals still exist in Africa.
British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas captured a series of black-and-white photographs of this animal — who he calls the Elephant Queen — roaming in the natural landscape around Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.
Burrard-Lucas spent some time living in Tanzania as a child, which sparked his interest in wildlife photography.
“My earliest memories are of safari and wildlife and ever since those days I’ve had this passion for the natural world,” he says.
This ‘Elephant Queen’ survived for over 60 years. As elephant numbers plummeted through the years, many countries put enormous effort into the conservation of their animals. Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service are just a couple from many, and their mission is to conserve and manage the wildlife of the region.
“If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her” photographer Burrard-Lucas explained. What the photographer described is F_MU1, an extraordinary cow elephant with enormous two tusks. She is one of just a few elephants known as tusker (or super-tusker), a type of elephant that has genetic properties granting it great size and large tusks. They are rare and looked after, especially considering the fact that poachers ᴋɪʟʟ elephants for their tusks.
“F_MU1 was skinny and old but she strode forward with stately grace. Her tusks were so long that they scraped the ground in front of her. She was like a relic from a bygone era” the photographer recalled the first time he laid his eyes on the Elephant Queen.
Read more at Elephant World category