This is one of the world’s rarest elephants, standing majestically in front of Kenya’s natural scenery with massive tusks grazing the ground.
She’s referred to as a ‘large tusker,’ and there are only around 20 of them remaining on the planet. Each of their tusks weights more than 100 pounds and they reside in distant, inaccessible places (45kg).
Will Burrard-Lucas, a 35-year-old British wildlife photographer, obtained magnificent photographs of the beast known as F Mu1, claiming that ‘if there was ever an Elephant Queen, it would undoubtedly have been her.’
While working in Tsavo, he caught the animal just before she died of natural causes at the age of little over 60.
‘F Mu1 looked frail and ancient, yet she moved forward with breathtaking grace,’ Burrard-Lucas remarked of the moment he laid eyes on the lovely creature.
‘Her tusks were long enough to scrape the earth in front of her.’ She was like a relic from another time.’
The videographer compared discovering the beast to “finding a needle in a haystack,” and he enlisted the help of Tsavo Trust environmentalists.
Wildlife specialists searched the region with a detector plane and then radioed Burrard-Lucas to the correct location.
‘The first time I saw her, I was in stunned, because she has the most gorgeous pair of tusks I have ever seen,’ Burrard-Lucas continued of meeting F Mu1.
‘I would not have thought such an elephant could exist in our planet if I hadn’t seen her with my own eyes.’
Burrard-Lucas captured these fascinating, close-up photographs of the F Mu1 using one of his BeetleCams, a remote-controlled buggy with a head-mounted camera.
‘She always proven to be the most exceptional one,’ he stated of his topic.
‘She has a sweet and quiet demeanor. ‘She gets so near to me that I can touch her at times.’
The shots he took were among the final F Mu1 photos taken, and she died soon after, owing to her failing health and the continuous drought in the region.
Despite the fact that he shot the photos in August 2017, he has just now made them public.
He points out that F Mu1 isn’t well-known outside of Tsavo’s reserve, and that information about her is kept under wraps to avoid po.ac.hing.
Tsavo is Kenya’s largest elephant reserve, covering 16,000 square miles and posing a considerable patrolling task for rangers.
F Mu1’s photos are part of a wider series that was published in the Land of Giants coffee table book.
It depicts Tsavo’s elephants as well as the Tsavo Trust’s activities.
The book includes 150 never-before-seen black-and-white pictures shot during the 2017 voyage as well as two 2018 missions.
The goal of the book, according to Burrard-Lucas, is to raise funds for the Tsavo Trust and to spread a “inspirational message”: that these incredible elephants are still alive and well, and that it is not too late to preserve them.
Burrard-Lucas was assisted by personnel from the NGO in tracking down and photographing two female ‘giant tuskers’ – one F Mu1 – and four males, including the biggest of all, ‘LU1’.
Rarely is the species photographed.
‘Photographing F Mu1 was a sensation of privilege and ecstasy that will stay with me forever,’ Burrard-Lucas added.