Photographer and film maker launches ‘Power the Rangers’ appeal to support endangered wildlfe
PUBLISHED: 13:47 12 March 2019 | UPDATED: 15:34 12 March 2019
A Norfolk film-maker and photographer has launched an appeal to raise cash for Kenyan rangers working to support wildlife under threat from poachers after a life-changing experience in the country.
After Chris Taylor, whose ‘bread and butter’ jobs include wedding shoots and portraits, was commissioned by non-profit company Biosphere Expeditions to film and photograph conservation work being carried out at the Maasi Mara National Reserve, in Kenya, he was contacted by a swimming holiday company also keen to make use of his talents.
“They had seen a post on Facebook about my trip and ended up asking me to go out to the Maldives to take promotional photographs and do underwater filming,” Mr Taylor explained.
“These were both on my bucket list as trips of a lifetime, so to have that experience in the name of work was just incredible.”
After spending a week living aboard a dive boat filming manta rays, nurse sharks and octopuses in the Maldives, he took off on an 11-hour flight to Nairobi, where he was taken along one of the world’s most dangerous roads to the Maasi Mara reserve.
He spent the following fortnight filming and photographing the work of a team of local rangers charged with protecting the area’s wildlife and ecosystem with the support of the community-led Enonkishu Conservancy, also helping log animal sightings.
“It was just amazing,” Mr Taylor said. “The knowledge and passion these guys have for what they do is incredible and to see zebras fighting, wildebeest grunting at us, a family of 12 giraffes and even the occasional leopard was almost like a dream.”
Sheringham-born Mr Taylor, who studied marine biology at university and spent time working in America and Australia before training as a professional photographer 15 years ago, said his trip had given him a “different perspective on life”.
“Although we all enjoy David Attenborough’s programmes on African wildlife, few realise what a fine balance the Maasai Mara hangs in,” he said. “Kenya has lost 70pc of its wildlife in the last 30 years and, through their education and protection, the rangers can prevent the needless deaths of more of these beautiful creatures.”
Appeal will help protect animals and rangers’ safety
Inspired by the Enonkishu rangers’ devotion to their cause, Mr Taylor has launched a ‘Power the Rangers’ crowd funding appeal to raise funds for binoculars, torches, a GPS unit and other equipment, which he plans to take out to Kenya later this year.
He is also planning to have a flag printed with sponsors’ names and logos, which he will photograph the rangers holding.
His appeal has already raised more than £800 and Mr Taylor, who has been a Sheringham lifeboat crew member for nearly 20 years, is hoping local people will help him reach his £3,000 target.
“It would be fantastic if we could make a difference and help these amazing men protect some of the earth’s most beautiful animals from the human dangers they face,” he said. “They face daily dangers like charging buffalo, so this equipment may also help their safety.”
To support Mr Taylor’s efforts, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk/power-the-rangers