WPY 2017

Photograph Details

Winner 2017

The Wildlife Photojournalist Award: Single Image

Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski, UK/USA

Palm-oil survivors

Bertie looked on as a herd of Asian elephants picked their way through a cleared oil palm plantation. With the light fading fast he quickly shot the four majestic mammals, reflecting on how they ‘huddled together, dwarfed by a desolate and desecrated landscape’.

In Sabah, the palm-oil trade is a main driver for deforestation. It destroys habitats, squeezing elephants out of the forest and into plantations. As reports of elephants being poisoned or shot by plantation workers become increasingly common, Asia must face one of its largest conservation challenges – mitigating human–elephant conflict.

Technical specification

Nikon D700; 80–200mm f2.8 lens at 120mm; 1/500 sec at f3.2; ISO 400.


Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia: latitude 5.528065, longitude 118.30449 Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia: latitude 5.528065, longitude 118.30449

Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia

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Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski

Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski, UK/USA

Aaron is an environmental photojournalist and film-maker. After seven years in Africa working behind the lens, he is currently the in-house presenter at Scubazoo in Borneo for their online channel, SZtv. Recent series include Borneo Wildlife Warriors, Borneo from Below and Borneo Jungle Diaries. His images and articles have appeared in over 40 magazines worldwide.