African bull elephant

David Shepherd

african bull elephant print david shepherd
'African Bull Elephant'
Signed Limited Edition
Published 1976
Image Size 22" x 20"
"Although his size may suggest the contrary, the African Elephant is one of the mostbenevolent and gentle of animals.
To me he is also the most inspiring to paint.
I have been out with game wardens into the African bush on countless occasions and, in order to get good sketching material,
we have induced the famous 'mock charge' - usually by banging on the doors of the safari wagon.
The display begins - the head goes up, and with tusks up and ears extended, the elephant 'tilts' from side to side - this is the signal
that in variably precedes the headlong rush, accompanied by a spine chilling shriek, towards the person so rudely disturbing his privacy.
The elephant will invariably, and hopefully, stop a few yards from the vehicle, (a real full blooded charge to 'kill' is upon one with no
warning whatsoever).
For a painting of such a display, often playful but always dramatic, any background can seem perhaps superfluous.
But soon such a scene could well become only a memory, for unfortunately in the Africa of today the elephant is seriously threatened
by mans' greed and desire for commercial gain - the 'old tusker' carrying giant tusks are now just a memory and even the
smallest elephants are shot and killed with poisoned arrows for the ivory they carry - this commodity is now regarded as a hedge against
inflation, particularly in the Far East.
If the present rate of slaughter continues, it is reckoned that the African Elephant, the largest land mammal, and surely the most majestic
and inspiring, could be wiped out inside twenty years. He deserves a better fate than this." David Shepherd

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