David Chancellor @chancellordavid

Mapping that jagged and bloody line where Man and Beast meet for @natgeo and others.

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David Chancellor photos and videos

2 days ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a Samburu initiate carries the birds he’s hunted with bow and arrow, around a crown on his head, northern Kenya. Once an initiate has passed through circumcision on his journey to manhood, he will take up the sticks collected earlier and make a bow and arrow. The arrows are tipped with gum collected some weeks earlier at the very beginning of his journey. For the next weeks he will hunt specific small birds; if successful, he will skin them and place the skins around a crown on his head. The more birds on his crown, the greater his hunting skills. However, certain birds are considered extremely bad luck and killing them inauspicious. Birds also appear extremely sensitive to the smell of the gum placed on the arrows which are designed to make the process more difficult, and therefore the task more challenging. All this is designed to get him moving as quickly as possible after the process of circumcision. The birds signify his flight from his home and journey into the warrior clan. When he passes into the next stage of his metamorphosis, he will give the crown of birds to his mother to remember him by. She will wear them around her neck along with his necklace of blue beads, and beetle wings given prior to circumcision. This is living #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #conservation

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2 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - dawn, northern Kenya - a while ago now I was asked by a Samburu Moran (warrior ) to hold the back of his young brother during his initiation. I had no idea at the time what this meant, or the significance of it to us both, but I did know it was an incredible honour. I met him this week and we talked briefly before he returned to his friends and football. I made him shoes out of cow hide and fitted them to his feet; he would wear only these for the month of his metamorphosis into a warrior. I struggled to sleep in my tent not quite knowing what to expect, listening to the songs of warriors and initiates from the surrounding villages. At 02.00 I left the tent and in darkness arrived at his hut which was already surrounded by elders singing songs of courage and support, songs that will help him be strong and carry him into manhood. I’d been told what to expect and what I was required to do, but now when for once I was part of the story, and not an observer, it felt oh so very different. I was to hold his back as the nurse circumcised him. He stood on a cow skin at the door of the home that he’d been brought up in. He was blessed and milk poured on to his shaven head causing him to sit abruptly on the skin. I sat behind him, my legs on either side of his body, I placed my left hand over is forehead and eyes and held his head very tightly to my chest. My right hand I held tightly across his chest, my hand on his heart. He couldn’t see the nurse now sitting in front of him, or the elders surrounding us, but he could hear them, and I could see and hear them both. As the nurse skilfully worked his heart exploded under my hand, and then calmed to a steady beat. We lifted him back into his home and quietly left. He had not made a sound, he was a warrior. I returned as the sun came up, and throughout the day to check on him. I hadn’t expected this, hadn’t expected to see, and more extraordinary feel the birth of a warrior. This is living #withbutterfliesandwarriors #conservation #northernkenya

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2 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a registered nurse circumcises a Samburu initiate, while an elder looks on during ceremonies celebrating his transition into a warrior clan, northern Kenya. . For a ‘warrior’ generation I’ve documented the lives of the Samburu tribe in northern Kenya. They have provided, and continue to provide, a unique glimpse of the future of community conservation globally. They are the interface between human and wildlife populations. How this next generation relates to the wildlife and ecosystems that support both humans and wildlife will affect us all. These initiates will live cheek by jowl with livestock and wildlife for the next 13 years, time enough to effect great change. This image above is key. The Samburu are deeply traditional; their culture and society defines them and at no point is this more evident than here at the initiation of new warriors. Many chose to embrace health alongside tradition, rather than risk the lives of the next generation. Here we see a nurse incorporated into the ceremony circumcising a warrior; one knife, one man’ might seem obvious to us, but sadly it’s not yet practiced everywhere. Supporting these cultures and traditions is key, giving them access to healthcare and family planning is vital. Allowing them to benefit from the wildlife that they live alongside is our moral responsibility. This is living #withbutterfliesandwarriors #conservation #northernkenya

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3 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - from boy to man, warrior to elder, the metamorphosis of the Samburu #withbutterfliesandwarriors northern Kenya 🖤

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4 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a baby rhino removed from the body of its mother, killed by poachers, is stored in the freezer of a research centre, northern Kenya. Magnificent in life, slaughtered at the hands of man, it’s body will be used to help find cures for diseases both affecting its own species, and those who took its life. #withbutterfliesandwarriors @wellcomephotoprize

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4 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - SOUND UP - taking the ladies home, northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors 🖤❤️

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4 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Samburu wedding, northern Kenya, a quieter journey home 😉 #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya 👍🏿👍🏼🖤

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5 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Lisa and Fin, Prince Albert, Karoo, South Africa - from ‘handle like eggs’ courtesy of @francescamaffeogallery showing at the Ragusa Foto Festival 2019. Since it’s start in 2012, the Ragusa Foto Fesitival has presented a unique opportunity to young people in Sicily, and the Mediterranean in general, for the in-depth study of photography and exchange of ideas. The festival opens today 26.07 to Sunday 28.07 presenting exhibitions, talks, screenings, workshops, and portfolio reviews. I’m very privileged to be exhibiting work from ‘handle like eggs’ alongside some very extraordinary artists. Thank you @steve bisson for your extraordinary curation. Always exceptional sir 👍🏼🙏🏻 @ragusa_fotofestival #handlelikeeggs thanks to @francescamaffeogallery

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5 weeks ago

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - sound on - off to a wedding, northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors 👍🏼👍🏿🖤

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - gathering at dusk, Samburu, northern Kenya. The more time I spend with these extraordinary people the more I understand how vital it is that we enable local people to manage their traditional lands, and natural resources, allowing them to secure peace, protect the environment, and thus transform their lives. Key to this is the provision of accessible and affordable healthcare and family planning. By integrating this with ecological awareness through education results in: . - A decline in the numbers of unskilled abortions and infanticides due to unwanted pregnancies . - Child/infant mortality decreasing; children born three to five years apart are 2.5 times more likely to survive than children born two years apart . - Fewer girls drop out of school on account of unwanted pregnancies . - Natural resources can be distributed more equitably; a smaller family puts less pressure on an already stressed ecosystem . - Water sources remain more readily available for both human, wildlife, and livestock consumption . - Degraded environments are given a better chance of recovery . - Human conflict over pasture reduces - Human-wildlife conflict and poaching reduces. When women are empowered decision-makers in their families, they spend more resources on their children's nutrition, healthcare and education. Involving men in family planning can lead to changes in the current gender norms. Thus by improving the quality of life for these communities and as a result reducing human/wildlife population pressures, indigenous flora and fauna have a better chance to increase again. Plus, there’s a reduced risk of conflict, and poaching of endangered and vulnerable species including elephant, lion, cheetah, African wild dog, Black rhino, Grevy's zebra, Hirola antelope, and others. #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya #conservation

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Mt Ololokwe, northern Kenya, home to the God of the Samburu tribe. #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a Samburu warrior (moran ) backs into the family house of his bride, holding meat from a freshly slaughtered cow, northern Kenya. At dawn, the groom leads a cow to the house of the bride’s mother, and when the animal is slaughtered, the marriage is considered celebrated. The cow is butchered by the moran and the longest cuts of meat are selected for the bride’s family, signifying a long prosperous life ahead for all concerned. The meat must be carried into the house and given to the bride’s family by the groom, aided by his best man, who must ensure that it stays flat and doesn’t fall. It’s believed that keeping the meat flat will guarantee a steady, calm life. Whereas, dropping the meat would signify the worst of starts to the couple’s life. #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya #conservation

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a Samburu moran (warrior ) takes blood from a goat, northern Kenya. Goats, as well as cattle, sheep and camels, play a vital role in the Samburu way of life and culture. The Samburu are highly dependent on their livestock for survival. Their diet comprises mostly of milk, and occasionally blood from the cows that they are protecting from raids by opposing tribes. The blood is taken by slightly cutting the jugular, and draining the blood into a cup. The wound is then promptly sealed with hot ash. Meat is only served on special occasions such as ceremonies. Their livelihood depends entirely on the health and safety of their livestock. When they do slaughter, blood and meat is shared among the warriors of different clans, strengthening bonds between warriors that can be called upon in times of drought and conflict with neighbouring tribes. #withbutterfliesandwarriors

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - samburu wedding, northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a samburu bride leaves her mother's house to move to her husband's village, northern Kenya - traditional beliefs state that during the journey she must not look back. A Samburu legend tells how the elephants were once human beings. A young bride was about to get ready to leave her family’s house and her father gave her precise instructions on how to follow her way, that included the instruction not to look back; but the girl was so sad that she could not resist taking a last glance at the home where she had grown up. During the night, the Nkai God, furious with the disobeying girl, decided to punish her. The body of the young girl began to swell until it broke the hut roof and finally turned into a majestic elephant. The Samburu believe that all elephants descend from this first girl and that the elephants and the Samburu people have the same blood ties. It's believed that if elephants find a dead man they place bundles of grass or branches on his grave, and similarly if a Samburu finds a dead elephant he takes a bundle of green grass, spits on it and rolls it inside the cavities of the skull. This is considered a sign of respect and blessing, the green grass is the symbol of peace, while the spit is the rain, which is a divine gift in this arid region of northern Kenya. It’s traditions like this that I believe we must take time to learn and understand the significance of. I believe it’s vital that we engage with communities, and understand their beliefs. In my experience allowing them to share in the financial benefits generated by the presence of wildlife on their lands is key if we are to succeed at all in conserving the planets wildlife, and ecosystems. Please look at the work of @ewasolions and in particular their project #mamasimba for continued stellar work in this region 💚 #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - butterfly curtain, northern Kenya - I’ve always been obsessed with butterflies and months, maybe it’s the metamorphosis that intrigues ? It seems that we are forever growing and changing into very different creatures from the one we previously existed as. Or maybe it’s the thought of drying ones wings in the new sun and springing into the sky, airborne for the very first time. #withbutterfliesandwarriors

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - fire, northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors

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last month

Raising public awareness about health issues, such as disease transmission and being able to implement vaccination campaigns especially in remote communities where I’m currently working in Northern Kenya, plays an important role in stemming disease. Furthermore, education can increase access to healthcare and family planning. Zoonotic diseases affect both humans and animals. Transmitted by domestic animals, such as cattle, sheep, goats and camels, and also wildlife, such as bats, primates and rodents, makes Kenya a hotspot for these types of infections: 60% of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic and of these, 70% are from wildlife. Therefore, changes to this landscape by ever increasing human presence drives the risk of such ‘spillover' by intensifying this interface. The Wellcome Photography Prize offers my work access to a global community like no other, via this unique platform giving me greater capacity to continue working in these remote communities, and thus continue to raise public awareness locally and internationally about these health issues which affect us all, worldwide. Thank you @wellcomephotoprize I’m truly humbled that this vital work has received this - ‘virus hunters’ Winner of the Wellcome Photography Prize 2019 Outbreaks category: David Chancellor @chancellordavid ⁠ .⁠ 'We don’t really have a strong understanding of the connection between the natural world and the origins of zoonotic diseases. I think this image does a particularly good job of engaging that grey and largely misunderstood area' - @pete_k_muller ⁠ .⁠ .⁠ .⁠ #WPP19 #documentary #documentaryphotography #reportage #photojournalism #portrait #health #care #medical #recovery #medicine #globalhealth #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya @natgeo @thephotosociety @geomagazin @everydayextinction #conservation #fightingextinction

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last month

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - many of those I work with believe that by taking a photograph I am stealing their soul. Returning with a print not only allows them to share in the process, but also gives them the time to look at themselves through my eyes. However, it’s difficult not to agree with them, I can often hear the voices emanating from the rolls as the community held within my work expands. There are always conversations as I shepherd it through landscapes, airports, and finally to the lab where they’ll all look out at me exactly as they did many weeks ago when I started this journey without them. Hard not to agree that there are indeed spirits in here. #withbutterfliesandwarriors with enormous thanks to @airbnb @airbnbadventures @natashalunnwatkins @artfuldodgersimaging @bwyanoleary @kodak and the #samburu #conservation #conserving #northernkenya #kenya @filmsnotdead

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - gathering at full moon with the moran (warriors ) of the Samburu, on Mt Ololokwe, the home of the God for the Samburu tribe, northern Kenya - #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation @fujifilmx_uk @nathan_xp1

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - watching the Samburu looking every bit like a giant centipede shaking and thrusting it’s way forward across the dry earth of northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - sometimes the temptation to check oneself out is just, well, too great, particularly when you’re a lady hornbill presented with a clean window 💚 #northernkenya #kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Samburu moran (warrior ) from the series #withbutterfliesandwarriors - northern Kenya #kenya #northernkenya #conservation @ewasolions

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor- @chancellordavid - sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. Here we’re transporting a heavily sedated cheetah from Samburu National Park, northern Kenya wrapped in a mosquito net. Called at short notice to attend to a badly injured cat we decided that once sedated the safest and softest way to transport it to the hq was wrapped in the net borrowed from a villager, and sitting on the seat next to me. Sitting next to that cat snoring gently was one of the best drives I’ve had on Kenyan roads; not looking forward to duplicating the situation but definitely keen to get the driver to duplicate his driving 👍🏿👍🏼💚 #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation #cheetah 🖤❤️

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June 2019

northern Kenya late rains #withbutterfliesandwarriors

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June 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a Samburu moran (warrior ) catches a cow for slaughter at dawn, northern Kenya. The Samburu are semi-nomadic pastoralists who herd mainly cattle, but also keep sheep, goats and camels. The Maasai refer to them as ‘the butterfly people’ seeing them as even more beautiful, and butterfly-like, than themselves. Their only wealth comes from their livestock, following the cycle of wet and dry seasons in order to maximise grazing. They are therefore a great barometer by which to measure both climate change, and human-wildlife conflict in this region. They have been featured widely in western culture, and yet few really know them. Dancing Samburu were included in a MasterCard commercial. Samburu runners were famously portrayed in a late 1980s Nike commercial, in which a Samburu man's words were translated into English as the Nike slogan “Just Do It.” This was corrected by anthropologist Lee Cronk, who seeing the commercial alerted Nike and the media that the Samburu man was saying “I don’t want these. Give me big shoes.” Nike, in explaining the error, admitted to having improvised the dialogue and stated “we thought nobody in America would know what he said”. It’s exactly these cultures and traditions that we should be working with and listening to if we have any chance of conserving the planet’s ecosystems and wildlife. Follow me here to see more from them over the next weeks and months #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation @natgeo @thephotosociety @everydayextinction @ewasolions

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - this is Latoya, he works with @ewasolions who are working to encourage coexistence between people living on community land, such as the Samburu, and all carnivores; not just lions, but also hyena, wild dog, leopard and jackals. Here in Samburu those monitoring the movement and relaying the whereabouts of carnivores are drawn from these communities. Thus, the Moran such as Latoya play a vital role here in the conservation of Kenya’s wildlife, and preservation of the pristine ecosystems that support it. This follows throughout this region of northern Kenya; community engagement is vital if wildlife and human populations are to coexist at all, particularly in as complicated an environment as this which is prone to drought, flood, and tribal conflict. This wonderful human being is not from another World, but from the same one that we all inhabit, only maybe he cares enough to preserve it, and along with that his traditions and way of life. Latoya get the chai on, I’ll see you next week, warrior 👍🏼👍🏿🖤 - follow me here @chancellordavid @thephotosociety @natgeo @everydayextinction and them here @ewasolions ❤️💚 #fightingextinction #northernkenya #kenya #carnivores #lion #leopard #wilddog #jackal #conserving #conservation #africa #withbutterfliesandwarriors 💚👍🏿👍🏼💚❤️

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Mukokondo Mountains, northern Kenya - #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya #northernkenya #conservation @thephotosociety @natgeo @everydayextinction

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - Samburu Moran (warrior ) northern Kenya #kenya #northernkenya #conservation #withbutterfliesandwarriors @thephotosociety @everydayextinction @natgeo

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - with so many comments on the previous post I thought it best to follow up here. The reality is that the fate of wildlife lies mainly in the hands of those who live with it daily. They must be allowed to benefit from its presence on their lands. Conservation efforts that do not acknowledge this, and help them to become defenders of all wildlife, will force them into a battle from which there will be no winner. We must start recognising the rights of people coexisting with wildlife. However we must also be careful not simply to listen to those who shout the loudest. As a recent headline in Bloomberg Businessweek put it perfectly ‘elephants can’t vote, but they may well decide Botswana’s election’ - These magnificent creatures have become a powerful tool when garnering rural votes and this is wrong, and I’m appalled. We must never take our eye off the ball where wildlife and ecosystems are concerned. To many it is simply a commodity to be taken at will; many years ago it was considered inexhaustible, now it is threatened with extinction. Without due diligence species will slip into extinction and ecosystems will be lost for ever, as our eye is focused elsewhere. Africa is a complex and challenging environment on which to apply and govern legislation, but we must ensure that when applied it is not abused. It no longer falls on those of us who have the dust of Africa on our skin to protect it, but all of us need to do so, but not without fully understanding the implications of our actions. That is what my work is all about. I realise it may be abhorrent for some, but I’d ask you to stick with it as long as you can, and possibly understand a little more of the challenges we all face as the planet creaks under the weight of our presence. Thank you for supporting the work. 👍🏿👍🏼💚🖤 #withbutterfliesandwarriors #conservation #fightingextinction

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - training northern Kenya’s rangers in the art of camouflage 👍🏼👍🏿💚🖤 @forrangers @borana1 @lewa_wildlife @nrt_kenya #kenya #northernkenya #conservation #fightingextinction #withbutterfliesandwarriors @natgeo @thephotosociety @everydayextinction

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - young Samburu women, lmuget, Samburu, northern Kenya - it’s vital that we enable local people to manage their traditional lands and natural resources, as a result they are able to secure peace, protect the environment, and thus transform their own lives. Key to this is the provision of accessible and affordable healthcare and family planning. By integrating this with ecological awareness through education results in: - A decline in the numbers of unskilled abortions and infanticides due to unwanted pregnancies - Child/infant mortality decreasing; children born three to five years apart are 2.5 times more likely to survive than children born two years apart - Fewer girls drop out of school on account of unwanted pregnancies - Natural resources can be distributed more equitably; a smaller family puts less pressure on an already stressed ecosystem - Water sources remain more readily available for both human, wildlife, and livestock consumption - Degraded environments are given a better chance of recovery - Human conflict over pasture reduces - Human-wildlife conflict and poaching reduces. In addition, when women are empowered decision-makers in their families, they spend more resources on their children's nutrition, healthcare and education. Thus by improving the quality of life for these communities and as a result reducing human/wildlife population pressures, indigenous flora and fauna have a better chance to increase again and there’s a reduced risk of conflict and poaching of endangered and vulnerable species including elephant, lion, cheetah, African wild dog, Black rhino, Grevy's zebra, Hirola antelope, and others. New work in northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors #northernkenya #kenya @thephotosociety @natgeo @everydayextinction #women #healthcare #conservation #fightingextinction

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - a vet’s assistant covers the eyes of a tranquillised white rhino, northern Kenya - When working with wildlife requiring veterinarian intervention it’s vital that we get to tranquillised wildlife as quickly as possible. Many species are prone to overheating when unconscious. Body mass is of major concern when dealing with mega herbivores such as rhino and elephant which may die when resting unattended as body mass can restrict breathing and heart function. In some cases, they can suffocate on undigested food eaten prior to tranquillisation. It’s also vital to remove external stimulation, sight and sound, so here you’ll notice the rhino’s ears have been blocked (with the vet’s socks 😉 ), and it’s eyes are being covered. Outside stimulation can cause stress to the animal which we want to avoid at all costs. It can also snap the rhino out of unconsciousness in seconds, from being fully asleep to wide awake, which can be extremely dangerous for the vet and his team - It’s extraordinary to witness the amazing work of these individuals dedicated to preserving the planets precious wildlife. Humbled to be working with them 👍🏿👍🏼🙏🏻🖤💚 #conservation #northernkenya #kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors #fightingextinction @thephotosociety @natgeo @everydayextinction #rhino #stoppoaching

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - dawn, northern Kenya #withbutterfliesandwarriors #kenya

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - untitled huntress, trophy room # II, Dallas, Texas - recipient of the Outstanding Hunting Achievement Award, Dallas, Texas - from the series Safari Club - I’m working with @artfuldodgersimaging on a series of hand photographic c-type prints for an exhibition at the Bunder Kunstmuseum Chur - ‘Passion’ will include a series of large scale pano’s printed by @bwyanoleary - these are all from the personal trophy rooms of members of the Dallas Safari Club, Texas - exhibition runs 22 June - 27 October 2019 Chur, Switzerland.

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May 2019

Photograph by David Chancellor @chancellordavid - delighted to be exhibiting here - repost from @ragusa_fotofestival / The 2019 edition dedicated to the family promises to be full of exhibitions and photographic insight. . ©️David Chancellors from “Handle like Eggs” . “There are many fine documentary photographers working today but @chancellordavid is one of the finest. London based, his work brings him across the world, from the tribal lands of Kenya to the somber mountains of Scotland. His interests are mapping that jagged and bloody line where Man and Beast meet. This excellent retrospective also highlights the other node in David’s universe: HIS FAMILY. You will be hard pressed to find more touching images of mother and child in contemporary photography. Ultimately each body of work activates the other: loss and love intertwined forever”. Myles Little, Senior Photo Editor, TIME. . . . #ragusafotofestival2019 #davidchancellor #chancellordavid @chancellordavid #handlelikeeggs #sicilysummer #fotografia #documentarist #family #palazzocosentini #exibitions #ibla #art #arte

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