By Kerby Rosanes
Poaching has been a serious problem in protecting the environment especially in Africa and illegal hunting continues to consume the wildlife population. A non-profit organization based in Australia called the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF) uses a structured military-like approach, employing tactics and technology such as drones to protect the African wildlife – rhinos and elephants in particular.
Inspired by this cause, California-based digital artist Robert Chew created an amazing series called “Big Five” to support the campaign of IAPF. The Big Five project is a series of illustrations re-imagining conservationists with extraordinary technology to fight against poachers: robots inspired by wild animals.
The series presents a network of wildlife rangers aiming to terminate illegal hunting through their mech-animal companions. Each illustration comes with a short blurb explaining the capabilities of the machine plus an illustrated companions breaking down their features.The project started with five illustrations featuring robotic animals inspired by a rhino, elephant, buffalo, lion and a leopard. But with the positive feedback from his followers on DeviantArt, Robert decided to develop the series adding two more illustrations to date.
Here is what Robert has to say about this project:
“Today poaching of endangered animals in Africa is becoming quite a problem. Particularly for Rhinos and Elephants. Organizations like the IAPF(International Anti-Poaching Foundation) fight to protect these animals everyday. They’re constantly understaffed, ill equipped, and rely mostly on donations to continue to operate.
The inspiration for this series came from their recent application of UAV’s in the operations. I wanted to take that idea further and use the animals themselves as the drones taking their natural characteristics and behaviors to protect their real life counterparts. I chose the Big Five animals because most of them are threatened/endangered and they are iconic animals of the African continent.”
Scroll down below to see the amazing illustrations from the series.
As mentioned by Robert, he will continue to develop the series so we’re excited to see more illustrations of bad-ass mech animals such as the vulture breakdown. The illustrations are available for sale as prints on his DeviantArt and Inprint shop. All proceeds will be donated to the IAPF.