A horrifying aerial photograph shows an elephant with his trunk and tusks removed in Botswana, after poachers used a chainsaw to remove his tusks.
The image, called Disconnection, was captured by award-winning documentary filmmaker Justin Sullivan. It has been selected for the prestigious Andrei Stenin International Press Photo Contest, the results of which will be announced in September.
The elephant in the image, was a victim of the increasingly serious poaching problem in the country, with an almost 600 percent increase of carcasses found in Northern parts of Botswana between 2014 and 2018.
The image is especially troubling for some, as Botswana has lifted its ban on elephant hunting, saying the animals needed to be ‘managed’ in some areas.
‘Anger and sadness’
“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,” said photographer Justin Sullivan. “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.
“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.”