Igor was named at birth by Cynthia Moss (Amboseli Elephant Research) and an impressive bull elephant that wandered the plains of the Amboseli ecosystem in East Africa for forty-nine years. A gentle soul like most elephants, and one morning in 2007, he drank peacefully at a small water hole, when Nick Brandt photographed him.
Today, Igor’s portrait is iconic for Big Life Foundation and much more than simply an image of an elephant drinking. It stands for Brandt’s incredible fine art photography of Africa’s vanishing wildlife and his main goal of portraying “animals simply in the state of being, before they no longer are.”
Truth be told, Igor only survived two more years after he posed for the camera before he was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks.
The death of Igor, among hundreds of other elephants, spurred Brandt to start Big Life Foundation to protect the African elephant from its biggest threat today: mankind.
Together with Richard Bonham and five years since its inception, Big Life now protects more than 2 million acres with more than 300 rangers, 41 permanent and mobile outposts, 13 patrol vehicles, 2 planes for aerial monitoring, tracker dogs, and a vast informer network across the whole region - fighting the war against poaching and making sure that the next generation will be able to experience this incredible wildlife.