Robyn Preston made headlines early this month when the mother of five and grandmother of seven accidentally became a wildlife photographer in demand. That story here.
She is back in Africa for a few months, but today I managed to steal her away from the wild just long enough to answer three questions on my mind…
What do you love about being amongst Africa’s wild?
What I love most about being out in the African wild is the peacefulness and the naturalness about its surroundings. I’m not a city girl and spent most of my life on a farm and around animals. There’s lots of different species co habiting here and we could all learn from that. I’ve also learnt a lot about animal behaviour, and that helps a lot in predicting the next best photograph.
There’s a balance of nature and a pecking order between all things big and small. Night time brings out the orchestra of insects and it’s lovely to lie in bed and get lulled to sleep by those sounds. And it’s so awesome to hear the roar of lions and the call of the hyenas at night. There’s just so much natural beauty. I just love it here!
Why is it important for New Zealanders to support the ban on ivory trade? What is your message to your fellow Kiwis?
It’s important for everyone in this world to be aware of the plight of the elephants, rhinos and lions in particular. If numbers of lions decline as they are now, there will be none left in six years from now. That’s tragic! It’s the buyers of ivory that need to be stopped. A lot of people look at a nice piece in a shop but don’t stop to think what it’s made of or where it came from. I’m sure there are people out there who don’t even know it comes from elephant.
Sometimes it takes dramatic and clinical footage of what those elephants and rhinos endure when getting their tusks and horns cut off, for people to realize how destructive and hurtful it is. How can it be justified to harm an animal in such a way just to have an ornament in your home? Or cut off a horn falsely believing that it has medicinal properties when it doesn’t. And spending huge money to have the ‘privilege’ to shoot a lion for fun? And take a photo with that corpse with a smile? That is simply criminal and should be stopped. Let the animals run free and live free from man’s crazy ideas.
Tell us about this fantastic elephant photograph (below)
I was watching a herd of elephants approaching a dusty area and hoped to get some nice shots when they walked through it. At the back were these young males, and they were so engrossed in sparring with each other that they hadn’t noticed the herd had moved on. When they did notice, off they ran, with much excitement to regroup.
Robyn Preston Photography on Facebook.