#2 : RANGER WITH TUSKS OF ELEPHANTS KILLED AT THE HANDS OF MAN, AMBOSELI, 2011
I find it hard to imagine the living elephant that possessed these tusks. I’ve never seen elephants with tusks anything like this size, and now, I never will. They are all gone, dead, mostly killed by man.
Even with one part of each tusk embedded in his skull, this elephant would still surely have had to lift his monumental head to prevent them from dragging like excavators through the earth.
Those two gargantuan tusks, that bounty, would likely fetch in excess of half a million dollars in China today.
The elephant was killed by poachers in Tsavo in southern Kenya in 2004. His tusks were stored in Kenya Wildlife Service’s ivory strongroom. In July 2011, they permitted me to borrow these and many other tusks of elephants killed at the hands of man for the ranger series. These photos feature rangers belonging to Big Life Foundation, the organization that I co-founded to help protect and preserve the wild animals of East Africa. Please go www.biglife.org to learn more.
Photographed as always on medium format black and white film, I waited several days for the normal clear blue skies to disappear, waiting for the right somber cloud cover to take the photos.
The photograph is featured in “Across The Ravaged Land”, available on Amazon.com (SIGNED copies available from www.photoeye.com)