Elephants are some of the largest land mammals out there, but despite their vast size, they are very gentle and loving creatures. That’s why it’s especially sad seeing poachers hunt these gentle giants for their tusks.
According to a research conducted by Fiona Maisels and others, the population of elephants has dropped a whopping 62% between 2002 and 2011, mainly due to the actions of humans. One elephant, however, has managed to evade poachers and survive in the wild for over 60 years.
h/t: Bored Panda
This is the ‘Elephant Queen’ – an elephant that survived over 60 years in the wild
In recent years, many countries have put effort into animal conservation and wildlife management. Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service have partnered with British photographer Will Burrard-Lucas to capture breathtaking photographs of the wildlife of Tsavo.
Will recently shared the photos taken on his trip to Kenya on his blog. What stood out among them the most was the majestic “Elephant Queen”.
“If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her,” writes the photographer. You can’t help but instantly notice the long tusks on this elephant, codenamed F_MU1 by the Tsavo Trust. They are caused by a rare genetic trait and elephants like that are extra carefully monitored since poachers are always a threat.
“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,” described Will. “She was like a relic from a bygone era.”
The photographer described her as gentle and calm. Sometimes she would even come so close he could have touched her.
Sadly, during Will’s visit, the region was suffering from a drought and animals were struggling to survive. It was especially difficult for young and elder animals to find food and, unfortunately, the “Elephant Queen” passed away after a couple of weeks.
All of the pictures the photographer took on his trip will be published in his upcoming book, titled “Land of Giants”.