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Interesting and Amazing Facts about Ahmed the Elephant: The King of Marsabit



Celebrating Ahmed the Elephant Google Doodle

Today’s Google Doodle honors Ahmed, the giant tusked elephant who, on December 6, 2023, became the first elephant in Kenya to be protected by a presidential decree. The Marsabit National Reserve in Kenya was home to Ahmed the Elephant. The legendary animal is thought to have had some of Africa’s longest and heaviest tusks. He was named a national treasure and is still the only elephant in history to have a presidential proclamation protecting him. In the Kenyan forests of Mount Marsabit, Ahmed was born in 1919.

30 Interesting and Amazing Facts about Ahmed the Elephant

  1. Ahmed the elephant’s early life is unknown, but in the 1960s, he became well-known when hikers saw him in the mountains of Northern Kenya. Spotters declared Ahmed, also known as “The King Of Marsabit,” had tusks so big they scraped the ground. The legend spread throughout Kenya.
  2. In the Kenyan Marsabit National Reserve, Ahmed is a deceased male African savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) who died in 1974.
  3. A few “Tuskers” still roam the wilds of Africa today; the most well-known is named Tim, and he resides in Amboseli National Park. Tim is possibly the largest Tusker in Kenya. He frequently hangs around with bulls, who appear to envelop him and protect him from harm.
  4. However, folklore tells of an elephant whose tusks were so long that he had to walk backward to climb hills!
  5. An elephant known to many as “The King Of Marsabit” lived in the forests of the Marsabit National Reserve on a mountain rising out of the scrublands of northern Kenya in the 1960s and 1970s; however, this story was never documented.
  6. 1919 saw the wild birth of Ahmed at Marsabit National Reserve.
  7. Known as the King of Marsabit, Achmed possessed massive tusks. Former Kenyan president Jomo Kenyatta placed the elephant under his protection by presidential decree in 1970 to keep poachers away.
  8. Ahmed was a rare sight, more famous by word of mouth than by sight, and frequently traveled with two smaller bull elephants by his side, guarding him and his treasure.
  9. The old man ghosted back into a heavy bush, hiding his colossal tusks, and they charged perceived threats. Ahmed was the name of this elephant. He had Africa’s largest and heaviest tusks, each weighing more than 150 lbs.
  10. Ahmed gained prominence in 1970 after appearing in three movies: “The Search for Ahmed,” “The American Sportsman,” and a French documentary on the life and work of the late Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a well-known conservationist.
  11. Ahmed gained prominence in 1970 after appearing in three movies: “The Search for Ahmed,” “The American Sportsman,” and a French documentary on the life and work of the late Iain Douglas-Hamilton, a well-known conservationist.
  12. Ahmed was the focus of numerous television shows in 1970, such as an ABC series and a documentary. Schoolchildren began to campaign for Ahmed’s protection from poachers as a result of his rise in pop culture. Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, the country’s first president, put Ahmed under his protection by presidential decree after they wrote him a letter.
  13. He received more attention in 1970 when schoolchildren launched a letter-writing campaign to Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, pleading with him to protect this national treasure.
  14. Kenyatta protected Ahmed with a Presidential Decree, the first of its kind in the country’s history and the only Elephant to be named a living monument.
  15. Two armed game rangers kept watch over the giant day and night, making sure it was secure and under observation at all times. Ahmed wandered Marsabit Park after growing accustomed to having his guards around.
  16. In 1974, after waiting in vain for Ahmed to emerge from the bushes where he had spent the night, his personal bodyguards decided to search for him early in the morning.
  17. When they finally located him, it was too late. He appeared to be sleeping, but he was actually resting peacefully against a tree rather than flat on his stomach.
  18. He lived a full life and died at the age of 55 from natural causes, proving that the security had been effective. For future generations to be able to appreciate this natural giant, President Kenyatta declared that Ahmed would be preserved at the Nairobi National Museum.
  19. To protect his life, two security guards kept an eye on him all day and all night. Kenya honored Ahmed’s legacy after he died at the age of 55 from natural causes.
  20. At the Nairobi National Museum, President Kenyatta gave taxidermists instructions on how to preserve Ahmed for future generations. He’s still there as of right now.
  21. Ahmed was looked after by Wolfgang Schenk, the head taxidermist at Zimmermann’s Ltd. The “King of Marsabit” is still on display at the Kenya National Museum in Nairobi today.
  22. The bull elephant that called Ahmed Gate at Marsabit National Park home in the 1960s and 1970s is honored by the gate’s name. The Arabic meaning of the name Ahmed is “one who is highly praised” or “one who thanks God continually.” He was well-known for having tusks so long that he could—and often did—rest his head on them.
  23. Often referred to as the “King of Marsabit,” it is reported that he had two juvenile bull elephants serving as his personal bodyguards, keeping an eye out for him and firmly shoving any aggressors that approached him.
  24. In 1970, Ahmed the Elephant attracted the attention of several American and French filmmakers due to his enormous tusks. As a result of his public appearances, schoolchildren in Kenya began writing letters to Jomo Kenyatta pleading with him to save Ahmed from poachers.
  25. Ahmed was given presidential protection and declared a living monument by the president, and five armed rangers kept watch over the enormous tusker for the rest of its life. Several old bullets were discovered lodged in his body during the autopsy after his death, which provided strong evidence of his personal security in his later years. He was the world’s most famous elephant.
  26. Ahmed’s tusks measured three meters in length and weighed 67 and 68 kilograms. Given how close to the ground they extended, people had assumed these to be larger.
  27. In reality, the elephant was smaller than many believed, giving the impression that his tusks were enormous when they were not, according to Wolfang Schenk, the taxidermist who worked for Zimmerman and was in charge of caring for Ahmed’s remains.
  28. It was decided to preserve Ahmed’s remains for future generations after his death. Ahmed was reputed to have been a kind and amiable elephant. Sadly, the hide could not be used, so they decided to create a life-size sculpture instead.
  29. His skeleton and tusks are housed inside the Nairobi National Museum, while the sculpture is located outside.
  30. On December 6, 2023, Google featured a Google Doodle on its homepage to celebrate Ahmed the Elephant.
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