Art Wolfe photographs megaherd of elephants

It’s unusual for elephants to form such a large herd. However, in Chad’s Zakouma National Park, the region’s civil wars, funded by the poaching of elephants, have put the creatures on guard. Here, some 400 elephants have banded together for protection. Art Wolfe explains the phenomenon in his new photobook “Wild Elephants: Conservation in the Age of Extinction.”

Wolfe wanted to make photos showing the immensity of the herd and quickly realized an aerial perspective would be best. He and his group chartered a plane, removed the doors, and secured themselves inside the craft with duct tape to safely photograph the herd below.

Wolfe shared his images with African Parks, a nonprofit conservation group that used them to count the calves in the images. “It was a hopeful sign to see that there have been more and more born in the past few years,” he writes.   

© Art Wolfe

Amanda Arnold is associate editor of Professional Photographer.