By Ellie Duncombe
A photographer has captured beautiful images of an incredibly rare ‘super tusker’ elephant in the wild.
Thought to be one of just 25 left in the world, this elephant has huge tusks which almost touch the ground and weigh more than seven stone each.
The majestic creature, spotted in the Tsavo East National Park, Kenya, is under constant threat from poachers who can make in excess of £80 on the black market for each enormous tusk.
These beautiful images were taken by Pareet Shah from Mombasa, Kenya.
The 38-year-old was on a game drive when he spotted the incredibly rare creature.
He said: “We were out for a game drive in the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya looking for a pair of mating leopards which had been spotted in the area, when from a far distance, we saw this huge super tusker elephant.
“In the morning light her tusks glistened from a great distance which drew us to her.
“This also made me think how vulnerable they are to poachers, as they are so ‘attractive’ even from a distance.
“I have seen thousands and thousands of elephants in my life but this was the first elephant I had seen with tusks this long.
“So gentle, so majestic, yet so humbling at the same time. Both my friend and I were quiet for a long time just observing and taking in this beautiful giant.
“The elephant was in a large herd which also included a few baby elephants. We spent almost 20 minutes with this particular herd of elephants watching them feed
“Unfortunately, due to increased and more sophisticated poaching in the area, these super tuskers are very close to extinction.
“It was bittersweet to see this particular elephant so ignorant about the fact that she is so vulnerable because of poachers in the region, just due to her oversized tusks.
“At several times whilst she was feeding, we could hear the tusks rustle against the grass beneath her trunk – a sound which was so unique that it is hard to describe.
“There are only 25 of these super tuskers left in the wild so we consider ourselves very lucky to have spent a considerable amount of time with this gentle giant.”