Extraordinary last photos of Kenya’s ‘Elephant Queen’

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The majesty of Kenya’s “Elephant Queen” has been captured in a series of stunning photos.
For more than 60 years, the “super tusker” known as F_MU1 roamed the vast plains of Tsavo National Park.
But just before she died of natural causes in October 2017, the awe-inspiring animal was photographed by wildlife snapper Will Burrard-Lucas.
Kenya’s “Elephant Queen” died in 2017. (Will Burrard-Lucas)
Kenya’s “Elephant Queen” was captured in a series of stunning photos before she died. (Will Burrard-Lucas)
“When I first saw her I was awestruck, for she had the most amazing tusks I had ever seen,” Burrard-Lucas said of the extraordinary encounter.
“If I hadn’t looked upon her with my own eyes, I might not have believed that such an elephant could exist in our world. If there were a Queen of Elephants, it would surely have been her.”
Will Burrard-Lucas was involved in an 18-month project. (Will Burrard-Lucas)
Will Burrard-Lucas came face to face with the endangered elephant. (Will Burrard-Lucas)
The 35-year-old has shared a series of black and white photos he took of F_MU1 during an 18-month project with the Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service.
“F_MU1 was skinny and old but she strode forward with stately grace,” Burrard-Lucas said.
There are now less than 30 super tuskers left in Africa. (Will Burrard-Lucas)
Will Burrard-Lucas said he was awe-struck by the “Elephant Queen’s” size. (Will Burrard-Lucas)

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“Her tusks were so long that they scraped the ground in front of her. She was like a relic from a bygone era.”
There are now less than 30 super tuskers left in Africa, mainly due to the scourge of ivory poaching.
Burrard-Lucas made headlines in February for his extraordinary images of a black leopard in Kenya.
See more of Burrard-Lucas’s photographs on his Instagram account and read his encounter on his blog.