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According to the artist, “It was on my very first visit to Kenya in 1949 and my abortive attempt to become a game warden that I saw my first elephants in the wild. The initial impression, and one that has gained strength over the years as I have seen more and more of these magnificent animals in their natural environment, is of one’s own complete insignificance.

“... Tragically, though, it is now becoming increasingly difficult to see a really fine bull carrying big ivory. They have all but gone. Isn’t it amazing that man, who can paint a Mona Lisa or write a great symphony, can at the same time completely exterminate so many of the wild creatures around him? One can always recreate a man-made object, however valuable, but once the great elephants have gone, they can never be re-created. The days are over when one could see elephants carrying ivory so huge that they would have to lift their heads when walking. It is our loss.”

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