An enormous 50-year-old elephant was photographed peacefully roaming in Kenya National Park, Africa, in his twilight years. While a Maasai Warrior was also seen keeping the gentle giant under constant supervision to deter poachers from his 100-pound tusks.
The elderly elephant was photographed dusting himself off to cool off as he trudged through the undergrowth in his native Kenya’s Amboseli National Park. The breathtaking images were captured by professional photographer Clint Ralph, 59.
‘He is fifty years old this year, and each tusk weighs around 100lb (50kg),’ Clint explained.
Craig’s tusks weigh more than 100lb each, making him one of only 20’super tuskers’ believed to be alive today.
In 1972, the African Savanna Elephant, also known as the African Bush Elephant, was born.
Savanna elephants can live for up to 70 years, outliving all other mammals except humans.
‘I always strive to add something unique to the sea of images available around the world.’ ‘I love the originality of both the image and the subject,’ Clint said.
‘My friends and I sat with him for a while, watching his movements.’ We eventually figured out his route and positioned the vehicle in front of him, hoping he would walk past us. He did.’
Clint followed Craig through the park, photographing him with a Canon R5 mirrorless camera.
‘I traveled to Kenya specifically to photograph Craig in his golden years,’ Clint explained.
‘Being so close to such a legend in our time was emotional.’
‘I consider myself extremely fortunate and privileged to have met Craig and spent such quality time with him.’
‘He has Masai Warriors who protect him from afar 24 hours a day to keep him from being hunted or poached.’
However, he died of natural causes at the age of 50.
In a statement, KWS Director Paul Udoto described him as “unassuming, unpretentious, and laid back.”
He did, however, have a few scrapes throughout his long life.
“He was hit on the head with a large rock some years ago and pierced through the ear with a spear that was embedded in his shoulder,” Mr. Udoto explained.
The elephant’s injuries were later treated. According to the statement, his body is on its way to the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi, where a taxidermist will prepare it for preservation for educational and exhibition purposes.
Do you know Why Are African Elephants Endangered Now?