The majestic 50-year-old animal – known as Satao 2 – featured prominently on the Glaswegian’s BBC2 Christmas documentary The Elephant Family And Me.
The huge bull elephant died in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park after being poisoned by poachers who were arrested bywardens before his tusks – each weighing an estimated 50kg – could be hacked off.
Gordon, 44, said: “It is desperately sad news. When I first saw Satao, I was truly lost for words – the size of him just took my breath away.
“I realised immediately that what I was looking at was one of the world’s most precious wild animals. It was like something from a distant past.”
The elephant was one of a dwindling number of what are known as super tuskers – so called because their tusks are long enough to scrape the ground – still roaming Africa. There are thought to be as a few as 20 still alive and Satao 2 was named after another super tusker slain by poachers in 2014.
Gordon spoke passionately about how much Satao meant to him
It is desperately sad news
Mr Buchanan said: “It is a very difficult situation where there is abject poverty and where people are driven to do things that may well mean that they lose their lives in pursuit of trying to feed their family.
“The people who are making the money are not the ones who are shot and killed or who will spend their lives in prison, it is just this chain of middle men and buyers from across the globe who only see profit. It’s just awful.
The majestic 50-year-old elephant was brutally murdered by poachers
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Satao 2 featured in BBC documentary The Elephant Family and Me
“When I saw Satao I couldn’t help but feel proud that I was able to share his majesty by filming him and taking photographs of him. But what made this elephant so special was ultimately what caused his downfall.”
The BBC is expected to commission a new film about Satao’s life and death and the consequences of poaching.