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 Africa's Icon - 12/5/2011
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On a fresh morning before the sun had risen over the plains of Tsavo, a beautiful male elephant with tusks weighing over one hundred pounds each, quietly passed through the bush following the old paths ingrained in his memory.  He is a perfect example of a big ‘tusker’ having survived the threat of poaching and the many other dangers facing the African elephant, and having witnessed the suffering of his fellow kind over many years by the hand of man. 

He has been fortunate to be able to grow to his full potential, into the magnificent animal he is, like all elephants should have the chance to do.  But this journey was to be his last.  Having endured to such an age his life was taken cruelly, if unfortunately. 

A highway now blocks his path between Tsavo’s two parks.  Soldiering forward as he had done throughout his years, proud, strong and unafraid, he was knocked down by a speeding truck.  He died on the tarmac as the truck raced from the scene.  It was a sad and needless end. 

  

As the sun rose a crowd gathered with people hungry to take the fresh meat.  The Kenya Wildlife Service and DSWT Mtito Antipoaching team arrived soon after the accident, protecting the carcass, removing the tusks and dragging the body into the shelter of the bush. 

 His story stresses the reason why elephants must be protected and nurtured, allowing them to grow fully into the remarkable animal that nature designed them to be, and how the growing human footprint that is fast enveloping their ancient migratory route’s along with man's insatiable greed for Ivory, is now threatening Africa's icon.

   

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