LAST OF THE BIG TUSKERS
Last of the Big Tuskers is a documentary film about the last 40 big tusker elephants on our planet. A big tusker is an elephant with ivory weighing more than 100 pounds a side. The gene for big tusks is rapidly disappearing as a result of selective hunting and poaching. Something needs to be done NOW to save these remaining giants.
Tembe ranger Tom Mahamba, producer James Currie and big tusker expert Johan Marais will journey from South Africa to Kenya to document the world’s last remaining big tuskers. The documentary centers on the life of the largest big tusker of recent times, a magnificent bull called Isilo, who lived in Tembe Elephant Park in South Africa until his death in 2014.
We focus on the last known video of Isilo. We also delve into the mystery of his death. Isilo’s massive tusks were believed to be the largest in the world, measuring an estimated 9 feet in length and weighing around 150 pounds a side. But when his carcass was found in early 2014, his ivory was missing. His tusks were ear-marked to stand at the entrance to Durban International Airport. Where did the ivory go?
We will chronicle the Tembe Elephant Park’s efforts to protect the Tembe big tusker gene and to explore the feasibility of its introduction to other parts of Africa where the gene for big tusks has been eliminated. We delve into the alarming escalation of tuskless and small tusked elephant populations throughout Africa. With the rapid migration of elephant poaching southward, this research cannot come at a better time. In May of 2014, Tembe Elephant Park lost its first confirmed elephant to poachers and the theft of Isilo’s tusks is just the beginning.
JAMES CURRIE is a life-long wildlife enthusiast, TV host, published author and native of South Africa. His passion for elephants drives this film.
GREG NELSON is an extremely skilled wildlife cameraman and director and has much experience filming elephants. His creative eye drives this film.
TOM MAHAMBA lives in Tembe Elephant Park and is a main character in the film. His story-telling drives this film.
MONICA LEE has loads of experience starting small businesses and running non-profit organizations. Her advice drives this film.
ROSS GOODE is an environmental maniac and lover of all things wild. His knowledge of the African bush drives this film.
JOHAN MARAIS is the world’s authority on big tusker elephants. A well-respected large animal veterinarian, his experience drives this film.
HOW WE WILL SPEND YOUR MONEY – We have already completed two filming trips and have logged all our footage. We need to embark on one more trip to Kenya to film the country’s remaining big tuskers. We require $25,000 to complete the final filming requirements and for post-production. Any additional funding raised will be applied to much-needed editing/post production, marketing, purchasing of archival footage and music rights.
Proceeds from Last of the Big Tuskers will go to two elephant conservation organizations: Elephants Without Borders and the Tembe Tusker Foundation. Many thanks to the staff of Tembe Elephant Park and Tembe lodge for their support and unfailing assistance.
Check out our awesome rewards on our Kickstarter page.
Many thanks for your support – these elephants need a voice.
“Nature’s great masterpiece, an elephant; the only harmless great thing...”
John Donne, English poet