Hunted

skinner with trophy zebra, south Africa, from the series hunters. Poto by David Chancellor

Skinner with trophy zebra, south Africa, from the series hunters. Poto by David Chancellor

‘He neither stirred nor fell, but every line of his body had altered. He looked suddenly stricken, shrunken, immensely old, as though the frightful impact of the bullet had paralysed him without knocking him down. At last, after what seemed a long time, it might have been five seconds, I dare say, he sagged flabbily to his knees. His mouth slobbered. An enormous senility seemed to have settled upon him. One would have imagined him thousands of years old. I fired again into the same spot. At the second shot he did not collapse but climbed with desperate slowness to his feet and stood weakly upright, with legs sagging and head drooping. I fired a third time. That was the shot that did for him. You could see the agony of it jolt his whole body and knock the last remnant of strength from his legs. But in falling he seemed for a moment to rise, for as his hind legs collapsed beneath him he seemed to tower upwards like a huge rock toppling, his trunk reaching skyward like a tree. He trumpeted, for the first and only time. And then down he came, his belly towards me, with a crash that seemed to shake the ground even where I lay.. He was dying, very slowly and in great agony, but in some world remote from me where not even a bullet could damage him further’ Shooting an Elephant, George Orwel.

In many instances whilst documenting hunters what I was presented with was the opportunity to explore the animal quietly and calmly before the madness resumed as skinners arrived, this work is included here. The madness is also included.

Then of course the beasts have to be reconstructed by expert hands to look as if all is well and the period between life, and death, has not occurred at all, now they live in another plain reborn to live forever.

  See Full Photo Essay

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