Local photographer Justin Sullivan has recently taken a photograph that has left the world stunned. The talented photographer’s gruesome image showing an African Elephant poached for ivory in Northern Botswana highlights the plight of these gentle giants and how their numbers are dwindling due to poaching.

“I’ve been holding onto this image for months, awaiting the right opportunity to share it… It’s an emotional process for me, but having my ‘Disconnection’ photo announced as a finalist in the Stenin Contest is both exciting and heartbreaking…. It’s exciting to see that an important issue will make headlines around the world and ignite new interest in the conversations surrounding Elephant poaching – It’s also heartbreaking as a reminder of the ecological loss we are currently facing. This specific elephant was slaughtered in an extremely inhumane manner and the photo represents just how isolated and disconnected not only the elephant was in that moment, but how disconnected we are from the situation,” Sullivan said. 

“I hope this image and the publicity it gets from the Stenin Contest World Tour will reignite the conversations we need.”

In the image, poachers used a chainsaw to cut off the trunk and tusks, just 20 minutes away from a nearby camp. Poaching in Botswana is increasing rapidly, with an estimated increase of carcasses by 593% in the Northern parts of the country from 2014 to 2018.
Picture: Justin Sullivan

Article written by

Lucinda Dordley

Lucinda is a hard news writer who occasionally dabbles in lifestyle writing, and recent journalism graduate. She is a proud intersectional feminist, and is passionate about actively creating a world which is free of discrimination and inequality.