Remembering Sudan…

Hello and welcome to my first blog post. I’m learning as I go!

So after many years of travelling to Africa, I’ve finally managed to put my wildlife photography website together, I hope you’ve had a chance by now, to browse through the images. I’d like to take this opportunity to highlight that 5% of wildlife print sales are donated to the Sheldrick Wildlife Trust based in Nairobi, Kenya. The Trust is the most successful orphan-elephant rescue and rehabilitation program in the world and one of the pioneering conservation organisations for wildlife and habitat protection in East Africa. I will write a separate blog post down the track on their fantastic work. www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Back to my first blog post for now… One of my main purposes in photographing wildlife is to also highlight the plight of nature on our fragile planet. It’s a shocking fact that we are losing more species of animals than any other time in human history due to human-wildlife conflict, poaching and deforestation.

The picture above is me with “Sudan” in 2016. He was the world’s LAST male northern white rhino. I say was, as this month (on 19th March 2019), it’ll be the first anniversary of his death. Sadly, Sudan passed away at the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya after he was taken back to Africa from the Dvůr Králové Zoo (Czech Republic) where he lived from 1975 to 2009. He was 45 years old and died from age-related complications from an infection in his leg.

Sudan was originally captured in Shambe, Sudan by animal trappers employed by Chipperfield’s Circus in February 1975. The people at Ol Pejeta Conservancy did a fantastic job with his repatriation and looking after him from 2009. I feel very lucky to have met the gentle giant. Just TWO other Northern White Rhinos now exist in the world, both at Ol Pejeta. Sudan’s daughter Najin and granddaughter Fatu.

Sudan was more than just a rhino, he was a kind gentle soul that touched many lives. He was loved by many and in the time I spent in his company in 2016, it made me realise more than ever the need to preserve our beautiful planet and all its creatures, great and small. I hope that you’ve also encountered great nature moments like these, or if you are just starting out on your wildlife journey, it also happens to you!

If you ever get a chance to visit Ol Pejeta Conservancy, I highly recommend it as they do fantastic work… www.olpejetaconservancy.org – Also check out Helping Rhinos – They are another amazing organisation who are committed to Rhino conservation in Africa.

So that’s it… my first blog post. Easier than I thought!

If you’d like to ask any questions about my work or gear that I use (CANON through and through!), then please ask a question or add a comment below. Also, I’m open to ideas (from you) about topics that you are interested in, such as photographic trip planning or help on photographing wildlife etc so please share my blog and/or make a comment below. Thanks for reading my first post and for visiting my website! All the best for now, Mark. #RememberingSudan

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