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Ambassadors Programme

Explorer

Tom Svensson

Nov07

Award from the King

By Tom Svensson, Monday November 07, 2016

© Tom Svensson

When my last book about the lions came out in 2011, I knew I wanted to do a book about Poaching and Illegal trade. But it took five years until the book came out and many trips to get the photos I wanted. My dream shoot was photographing someone buying a rhino horn but since that is like trying to get a photo of a drug deal I didn’t succeed in any of the countries I tried.

Then I heard that in Burma one might be able to get a photo of an illegal purchase so off I went. Everything in this town was sold openly: ivory, tiger skin, tiger bones, tiger claw’s, pangolins and so on. One could even eat every desired endangered animal. And there was loads of rhino horns to buy!

So in the end I got the photo by hiding a Canon PowerShot G7 X I borrowed from Canon, behind a friend and taking photos. You could not use cameras openly up there! The book is about the trade of elephants, rhinos and tigers. And I’m sorry to say it's only out in Swedish so far.

One thing I also want people to understand is to NEVER ever have your photo taken with a wild animal in captivity! These poor animals suffer so much just so that people can have a photo of themselves with an animal. No, we need to stop this torture. Do you want photos of an animal? Go out in nature and have the time of your life while photographing.

With this book I was lucky to get the book of the year award from the Swedish king - nice feeling but most importantly people get to know what is going on with our animals!

Buying rhino horns in Asia.

Buying rhino horns in Asia. © Tom Svensson

Never let your photo be taken with an animal.This lady did regret doing it after I talked to her... nice lady.

Never let your photo be taken with an animal.This lady did regret doing it after I talked to her... nice lady. © Tom Svensson