Writer and award-winning photographer, George Dian Balan is fundraising for his amazing new book, The World As It Once Was, and all profits from the book will be donated, starting with paying ranger salaries in a bid to provide some of Kenya’s Big Tuskers with 24/7 around-the-clock surveillance and protection.
As you all know, the protection of Kenya’s Big Tuskers is an uphill battle. Elephant conservation agencies like ours, which are guided by the KWS, are forced to contend with inhospitable and unnavigable terrain, rampant poaching, and now, the absence of funds due to the pandemic.
If you want to learn a little more about some of the challenges posed to conservationists as a result of the Coronavirus crisis, you can do so by following this link.
At Tsavo Trust, we are committed to wildlife conservation regardless of the challenges that come our way. However, it is always hugely helpful when people lend us a helping hand through donations or awareness.
George Dian Balan is doing just that. He is a talented author, passionate conservationist, and celebrated wildlife photographer. His photos have appeared in BBC Earth, National Geographic, and Wild Planet Photo Magazine. Now, in his latest project, he is seeking to remind the world of the stunning, prehistoric beauty of our remaining megafauna.
The world’s largest animals need our help
Dian’s Kickstarter campaign, which you can access here, tells a story of our world’s forgotten giants. When he shows people for the first time the pictures he has assembled from so many talented photographers, their reactions are telling. The disbelief at seeing elephants with tusks twice the size of a man, or a one-ton great white shark leaping out of the water revealed to Dian that our great megafauna were being neglected and needed his support.
His book features a whole collection of stunningly gorgeous shots from 100 distinguished photographers from around the world. The book features megafauna from the four corners of the planet. Elephants play a large part but there are also stunning shots of bears, bison, rhinoceros, and the big cats. Moreover, the science accompanying these pictures is state-of-the-art. Dian was advised by about 30 world-class researchers. Some of these experts have worked with the BBC and David Attenborough or Nat Geo.
In Dian’s own words, his book is a ‘Catalogue of Beauty’ that is seasoned with the best available science as it applies to the megafauna. The images tell a story of untouched, natural landscapes broken only by the living, breathing bodies of the world’s biggest animals.
Dian is unashamed about the fact that his intention is to lure you into the stories of these animals. The photography will captivate you, transform your perception of time, make you fall in love. Then his writing will ensnare you into a deep affection for the animals. As mentioned earlier, all the profits of his book will be donated, starting with the protection of Kenya’s biggest elephants – the Big Tuskers.
Paying for Ranger salaries
Dian is upfront about his costs. He is not hiding behind obfuscation and vague calculations. His Kickstarter campaign is designed to contribute towards the cost of printing 1,100 copies of his book. The rest of the cost falls on him at this stage. Ideally, if the Kickstarter campaign covers all the costs, then afterward profits can go directly to Kenya. If the Kickstarter campaign proves truly successful and exceeds 25,000 Euros collected at this stage, then Dian would like to print 2500 copies of the book. The profits he receives, and he is hoping to receive at least 25,000 Euros, will create 4 jobs for 1 year in Kenya.
His plan is for one of the Big Tuskers to be provided with 24/7-armed ranger surveillance (2 shifts of 2 rangers each.) This would go a long way towards protecting the superior megafauna DNA that still lives on in Kenya.
If you buy one of Dian’s books, you may guarantee the safety of one of Kenya’s Big Tuskers for FOURTEEN HOURS. It doesn’t sound like much, but that should reveal to you the cost of protecting these amazing animals from poaching.
It’s a difficult job but it is one that never gets old. Dian himself gives a special mention to the work we do at Tsavo Trust to protect Kenya’s elephants. He describes a time where his wildest dreams came true when he came face-to-face with some of the last ‘Lords of the Wilderness’ – male bull elephants with tusks the size of a car.
In many ways, supporting Dian, and Tsavo Trust, will be like travelling back in time. If you buy his book, you will be transported to prehistoric earth untouched by humanity where megafauna rule. If you support his Kickstarter, or if you donate to Tsavo Trust, you will be transported back in time by a few hours as you can rest assured that another big elephant roams safely.