WPY 2013

Photograph Details

Winner 2013

Wildlife Photojournalist Award

Brent Stirton, South Africa

God's Ivory

Since the ban on the ivory trade in 1989, hundreds of thousands of elephants have been slaughtered and millions of dollars’ worth of illegal ivory traded. Much of this fuels a religious market of worshippers manifesting their devotion through ivory carvings. No ivory-trafficking kingpin has ever been caught. Every piece of ivory bought marks the death of an elephant. Brent worked with a writer for three years collecting the visual evidence for a story for National Geographic.

Technical specification

Canon EOS 5D Mark II + 16-35mm f2.8 lens at 19mm; 1/250 sec at f5.6; ISO 400.


Intellectual property rights to all WPY images are retained by the photographers. Reproduction without prior written consent constitutes an actionable infringement. For usage enquiries please contact us.

Brent Stirton, South Africa

Brent has an extensive history in documentary photography, including coverage of water issues in more than 30 countries. He has a strong focus on sustainability and the environment. His work has been widely published in leading international media and he has received multiple international awards, including Wildlife Photojournalist of the Year 2013 for his work on the ivory trade.

  • The real cost
  • Waste product
  • Sunset over the land of rhinos
  • Weighing up the value
  • Learning to fight back
  • The consumer
  • Out of Africa
  • A traditional killing
  • Blessed profits
  • From tooth to totem
  • The end of elephants
  • Bred to be killed
  • Value choice
  • Trophies and trade
  • Choreography of the kill
  • Lion guardians
  • Living with lions