2023 Edition

Marcus Westberg

Airborne, 2022


Category - Change Makers: Reason for Hope

Category Winner
Airborne, 2022

In mid-2022, 263 elephants were moved from Liwonde National Park to Kasungu National Park, both in Malawi. While translocations like these are a reminder of the mess we have created – habitat fragmentation and destruction are the reason they are necessary in the first place – they are also success stories in conservation. Though perhaps shocking to the viewer, this is a fairly standard way of moving elephants. Led by non-profit conservation organization African Parks Network and wildlife translocation specialists Conservation Solutions, suitable herds were identified and darted using helicopters. A ground team would quickly move in, monitoring the elephants’ health and lifting them into waiting trucks, where they were woken up with a second injection for the overland journey to Kasungu. Families were never separated, and though the translocation operation took over five weeks, it would be over within a single day for any given family.

12-24 mm f/2.8 Lens - 1/500 sec at f/14 ISO 640