One of Africa's last remaining giant tusker elephants has died in Kenya at the age of 50, according to the country's wildlife services (KWS). KWS released a statement on February 5 which said that Big Tim died in Mada area of Amboseli National Park due to natural causes. The statement added that the celebrated elephant died early on Tuesday morning aged 50. KWS said that he was a benevolent, slow-moving preserver of the peace at Amboseli, and is well known and loved throughout Kenya.
The tusker's carcass was found at the foothills of the snow-covered mountain of Kilimanjaro, as per Amboseli Trust for Elephants. A tusker elephant is identified through its ivory tusks which are so long and they can scrape the ground. Due to frequent poaching, conservationists estimate that only a few dozen such animals with tusks are now left on the continent. Tim was named by researchers who called each elephant in the family herd they were monitoring by the same letter to help identify them and was one of the member of the "T" herd. The giant elephant roamed outside the national parks and escaped from poachers and farmers.
According to the reports, Tim made 183 attempts to enter farmlands and raid crops. Last year in February Tim almost died after being trapped in a muddy swamp. Therefore, he was later rescued by KWS and animal protection groups. A Nairobi-based conservation campaign group said that their hearts were broken as he was one of Kenya's National Treasures. The tusker's body is being carried to the Kenyan capital Nairobi, where his body will be kept for display at the national museum, as per KWS. Poaching has played an adverse effect on the population of African elephants plunge by 110,000 over the past 10 years to just 415,000 animals, according to the IUCN.