Palm-oil survivors

Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski's Image

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.


Behind the lens

Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski

Aaron ‘Bertie’ Gekoski

United Kingdom / 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.

Image details

  • Nikon D700
  • 80–200mm f2.8 lens at 120mm
  • 1/500 sec at f3.2
  • Sabah, Borneo, Malaysia
Copyright in WPY competition photographs remains the property of the respective photographers. You may not copy, share, reproduce or republish the photographs except as expressly permitted by copyright law. For media image usage enquiries, please contact us.

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Losing the fight

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