One of Africa’s last remaining giant “Tusker” elephants has died aged 65, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has said. An elephant is considered a ‘Tusker’ when its ivory tusks are so long that they scrape the ground.
Dida died at Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park from natural causes, KWS said in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are saddened by the death of Dida who was possibly Africa’s largest female Tusker and a matriarch residing in Tsavo East National Park. She died from natural causes due to old age, having lived a full life to about 60-65 years old,” the statement said.
KWS described Dida as a truly an iconic matriarch of the Tsavo and a great repository of many decades’ worth of knowledge.
“Those who got to know her through pictures and videos as well as those who had the exquisite pleasure of meeting her in person will remember her,” KWS said.
Dida was one of Kenya’s most famous Tuskers. Adorned with ivory that stretches down to the ground, she was quite a spectacle. Huge tusks are considered rare and noteworthy on a female elephant. Usually, only old bull elephants grow their tusks long enough to reach “Tusker” status.
Conservationists who interacted with the Dida mourned the animal on social media.
“I am so devastated to hear the news that Dida, arguably Africa’s most iconic elephant, passed away. I also celebrate that she was able to live a full life. It is difficult to comprehend how her ivory stretched all the way to the ground in absolute perfect symmetry,” photographer James Lewin posted on social media.
Hannes Kächele said, “Dida managed to beat the odds and lived a long life. She made it through poaching times, droughts, floods, habitat loss, and human encroachment. Her biggest flex was those unbelievable tusks and she managed to keep them until the very end.”
Tsavo is home to about 12,000 elephants, the largest population in Kenya.
In another part of the country, one Elephant has died today at noon while receiving Treatment, in Imenti Forest, Meru. The Elephant was Unable to walk n fell down Yesterday where it has been receiving treatment till it’s demise. The course of death has been confirmed to be due to Hunger. The Medica From Sheldrick Wildlife trust tried saving the elephant by giving Glucose Drip Injection but the elephant was Unable to survive. Less that A Kilometre away, is another Decomposing Caucus of a Dead Elephant. KWS have confirmed it died Last month due to Hunger.
According to Eastern Regional KWS officer Captain Robert O’Brien, who spoke on Phone 4 Elephants Including a Young One have so far died within Imenti Forest in Meru due to worsening Hunger situation. The residents from Nchoroiboro village in Buuri Constituency that is hard hit by Hunger have since Yesterday camped near the elephant, with Pangas Ready to chop Meat at least to save their Hungry stomachs