In four color pages next week SPORTS ILLUSTRATED will publish the last pictures ever taken by Ylla, the internationally famous photographer of animals. Ylla's accidental death in India last March ended an outstanding career in its prime and brought a sense of almost personal loss to the millions all over the world who had come to know her through her beautiful, beguiling and painstaking studies of animals in a dozen books and a score of magazines.
Among her fine work in SPORTS ILLUSTRATED, readers will probably recall her portfolio of African big game animals (Dec. 6) and the gripping fight between a mongoose and a cobra (Dec. 20), one of the stories she did for SI on the trip which ended in her untimely death.
Other stories which Ylla had already finished before she died and which SI plans for publication in forthcoming months include a visit with India's Prime Minister Nehru as he plays with his pet tiger cubs in his private garden; an exciting sequence describing the capture of a wild Indian rhinoceros; and a tiger-hunting safari with Motion Picture Director John Huston, which Ylla photographed from an elephant's back.
On March 29 this year Ylla was photographing for SI the colorful events of a provincial fair in Bharatpur—dancing, wrestling and finally a race between bullock-drawn native carts. It is this story which SI brings next week. The layout ends with a shot of the race. The moment after she took the picture, Ylla was tossed from the jeep on which she was riding and suffered the injuries from which she died shortly afterward.
Among Ylla's many friends in the world of photography, one was SI's Associate Editor Norton Wood, who met her first some years ago in Paris. This spring in New York it fell to Wood to be among the first to see Ylla's last roll of film. "When we developed the film," he said, "we found the galloping bullocks in one exposure. The next frame on the roll was blank."
It is a blank left by a uniquely vivacious, courageous and skilled photographer.