Horrifying Image Shows African Elephant With Its Trunk And Tusks Cut Off By Poachers
Taken by award-winning documentary filmmaker Justin Sullivan, the pictures capture the barbaric death of the mammal, who was killed for its ivory in Northern Botswana, as it lies next to its severed trunk.
Poachers used a chainsaw to cut off the trunk and tusks, just 20 minutes away from a nearby camp, before abandoning its carcass.
South African photographer Justin, 28, shot the drone image, entitled 'Disconnection', in the African country after Botswana's President Mokgweetsi Masisi lifted the country's five-year ban on elephant hunting last month.
His different perspective on the barbaric death of the mighty animal puts the poaching crisis sweeping Africa in a whole new light as the blood and gore of the carcass lies among the vast plains.
The image comes as poaching in Botswana is increasing rapidly, with an estimated rise in carcasses by 593% in the Northern parts of the country from 2014 to 2018.
The internationally recognised photographer explained he shot the image, which has been selected for the prestigious Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, after overhearing rangers talking about the poached elephant.
He said: "They said an elephant had just been poached and I asked to be taken to the site. On arrival I used a drone to capture the image.
"The image is called 'Disconnection', the perspective of the image gives context to the situation which you would never be able to see from the ground," adding: "The high angle looking top down shows isolation and highlights not only the physical disconnection of the animal, but our disconnection from the situation...
"People have obviously reacted with mixed feelings of anger and sadness, especially with the recent lift on the hunting ban in Botswana, but this photo has driven some constructive dialogue around how we can promote more sustainable elephant conversation and solve our current ecological crisis."
Featured Image Credit: Magnus News Agency