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Photographer Immortalizes Kenya's 'Elephant Queen' In Final Photos Before Her Death

Photographer Immortalizes Kenya's 'Elephant Queen' In Final Photos Before Her Death

It was Burrard-Lucas who called her the 'Elephant Queen' as she roamed in the natural landscape around Kenya's Tsavo National Park. 

Cover Image Credits: Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl 

Elephants are a majestic breed of animals and their magnificence is even more surreal in vintage photography. Today's spotlight is on a huge 'Queen' elephant from the gorgeous Kenyan wilds. This one is known as a "big tusker" and was captured by British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas in a series of black-and-white pictures. It was Burrard-Lucas who called her the 'Elephant Queen' as she roamed in the natural landscape around Kenya's Tsavo National Park. 

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

 

The imagery is spectacular and you can see her long tusks curving right down to the ground. It's surely a sight for sore eyes as Burrard-Lucas took the images in partnership with the Tsavo Trust, a local not-for-profit group. Both the group and the photographer hope that they raise awareness about these animals and that humanity can help conserve many species. "It was just incredible," Burrard-Lucas tells CNN Travel. "Especially in this day and age where these elephants with long tusks are so rare."

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

 

The main subject of Burrard-Lucas' photographs is an elephant known as F_MU1 -- shortly after he took his last shot, she died of natural causes. In a separate post on his blog, the photographer said that F_MU1 had experienced periods of poaching but managed to survive through those traumatic experiences in a miraculous way. "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. "As a wildlife photographer, a subject like F_MU1 is incredibly rare; a creature that is unique – possibly the most remarkable of her kind – and yet an animal that few have photographed before. The time I spent with her was a real privilege," he added.

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

 

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

 

Photographer Burrard-Lucas is no stranger to Africa and even spent some time living in Tanzania as a child. His early days were filled with animal sightings and his interest in wildlife photography grew. "My earliest memories are of safari and wildlife and ever since those days I've had this passion for the natural world," he says. According to him, these images of the elephant were taken with a device known as the "Beetlecam" which allows him to get powerful close-up photographs of wildlife in its natural habitat. "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.

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

 

These photographs will be compiled into a book that is conceived by the Tsavo Trust as a means of raising awareness for funds. The book will be titled 'Land of Giants' and will feature 150 shots of the elephants of Tsavo. "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," Burrard-Lucas said. The Tsavo Trust, meanwhile, continues to work with the Kenya Wildlife Service to provide support in conservation efforts that include anti-poaching patrols. 



 

 



 

 



 

 

Courtesy Will Burrard-Lucas / @willbl

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