British Photographer Captures Last Images Of Kenya's 'Elephant Queen' Before Her Death
A British photographer has captured the last ever images of the 'Queen Elephant' just before her death.
Will Burrard-Lucas, who previously became the first person to capture a black panther in more than 100 years, just released a series of incredible pictures of a 'tusker' elephant, of which there are thought to be fewer than 20 left on earth.
While Will clearly has a knack for capturing these wild animals in their rare sightings, the photographer managed to spot the 'tusker' elephant shortly before she died, meaning they are among the last photos ever taken of her, which no doubt make them all the more special.
'Tuskers', also referred to as 'big tuskers' are given the name once their tusks reach 100 pounds in weight and are long enough to touch the ground. Sadly, tuskers are incredibly rare these days thanks to poachers who make money from the ivory found in their tusks.
Mark Jones from wildlife charity Born Free told the BBC: "Super tuskers are very rare these days, precisely because their big tusks makes them prime targets for trophy hunters.
"Because these animals are all-too-often taken out before they have reached their reproductive prime, super-tusker genes are being bred out of elephant populations, and we could very well be seeing the last of them."
A 50-year-old tusker elephant was tragically killed by poachers by poachers just two years ago in the same region. However tragic, this fact makes it all the more impressive that the female Queen Elephant managed to over 60 years old before dying of natural causes.
Burrard-Lucas explained in a blog post: "She had survived through periods of terrible poaching and it was a victory that her life was not ended prematurely by a snare, bullet, or poisoned arrow.
"If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her."
What a beautiful creature.