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AFRICAN LAST GIANT “TUSKER” ELEPHANT DIES AT 50

Big Tim, one of the last remaining African giant “tusker” elephants had died.

According to the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS), Big Tim died at the aged 50.

The Tusk elephant died in Mada area of Amboseli National Park. Tim death was attributed to natural causes according to KWS in a statement on Wednesday.

“The celebrated elephant died early on Tuesday morning aged 50,” the statement said.

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He was “a benevolent, slow-moving preserver of the peace at Amboseli,” KWS said. “He was well known and loved throughout Kenya.”

Big Tim’s carcass was found at the foot of the snowcapped peak of Kilimanjaro, the Amboseli Trust for Elephants said.

An elephant is technically a “tusker” when its ivory tusks are so long that they scrape the ground.

Usually, only old bull elephants grow their tusks long enough to reach this acclaimed status.

But conservationists estimate only a few dozen such animals with tusks that size are now left on the continent due to poaching.

Animals with the biggest ivory and elephants with the heaviest tusks are most at risk from poachers.

Big Tim got its name from researchers. The researchers called each elephant in the family herd they were monitoring by the same letter to help identify it. However, Tim was a member of the “T” herd.

The giant pachyderm, Big Tim once went outside the National Parks into farming lands and had survived poachers and angry farmers.

Nevertheless, Vetinary Doctors once treated him for a spear that had gone through his ear and snapped off into his shoulder. This spear was probably from poachers.

A Wildlife Director, (Nairobi-based conservation campaign group) stated thus:

“Our hearts are broken, Tim was one of Africa’s very few Super Tuskers. And an incredible elephant whose presence awed and inspired many. He was one of Kenya’s National Treasures.”

Meanwhile, Big Tim’s body is being transported to the Kenyan capital of Nairobi.

In Nairobi, a taxidermist will preserve the carcass for display at the National Museum, KWS said.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), population of African elephants has fallen from 110,000 over the past 10 years to just 415,000 animals as a result of poaching.

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