Saying Goodbye to two of Kenya’s Icons

The big 5 in Amboseli National Park

This week Kenya is grieving for two of its great Patriarchs – Daniel Moi, the second president of Kenya, dying at 94 and Big Tim one of Africa’s oldest super tuskers dying at 5. Both have acted as Ambassadors for their country, one knowingly, whilst the other catapulted to fame when his story and size captured the hearts of the world. Big Tim became ‘catalysed by the many conservation organisations round the world’(Amboseli Trust for Elephants). Kenya is in a state of mourning for both: though for one there will be a state funeral where the great and the good of Kenya will attend; the other will have no state funeral,  instead the members of his herd will have already said their goodbyes in the way they have been doing for centuries and now Big Tim will return to the ecosystem where he was protected for 47years – Amboseli Conservancy

Tim was born in 1969, he moved to Amboseli National Park when he was 4 years of age. He grew into one of Africa’s most famous male elephants, for his size, his stature and more importantly the size of his tusks: they were said to weigh 45kgs in weight. There are thought to be only 25-30 left in Africa. People from all round the world have visited the park in the hope of seeing this great Patriarch and feeling that thrill of anticipation when he meandered close to the Safari vehicles. He made a significant impact to the park: the size of the elephant population due to the number of calves he sired; the young bulls he taught; and the human beings who have tried to raise public awareness about the plight of the African Elephant.

Big Tim was known for his mischievousness and his crop raiding habits! In an effort to protect him from local farmers, the Kenyan Wildlife Authority placed a collar on him. This meant they could track him more closely and send a team ahead to hopefully prevent him reaching the crops.  He often found ways to circumnavigate them!

Though Big Tim Died of natural causes, he had in fact survived a number of attempt by poachers to kill him for enormous tusks. Years ago he was struck on the head with a boulder, and later he was injured by a spear in his ear which embedded itself into his shoulder. This was when he found his way to the headquarters of the Big Life Foundation, appearing to seek the help of the rangers.  He was treated and returned to the Amboseli Marsh. After another couple of attempts on his life, Big Tim lived out the rest of his life in relative peace.

So with great sadness we say goodbye to this gentle giant, though it is joy we look to the future, when Tim died, he was in musth and in good shape, so hopefully we will see his new offspring born in 22 months. From Game Trackers Safaris, we simply wanted to let you know how much will miss you Big Tim.

# Protectingourelephants #Conservationthewayforward #Sustainabletourism

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