Instagram – February 9th, 2020

After our post last week on Kenya’s last remaining tuskers, we are sad to report that Tim, the most iconic of them all, died a mere two days after the Empowers Africa trustees and advisory council had the chance to see him. ⁣

Tim, as he was affectionately known, was found on Tuesday morning in Amboseli National Park and is thought to have died from natural causes. A real ambassador for the species (and a well-known, mischievous one at that!), his death leaves a real hole in the landscape of Amboseli.⁣ #Repost @biglifeafrica with @get_repost

Tim is dead, and at Big Life we’re all in a state of shock. One elephant’s life shouldn’t matter more than another. But in this moment, this one does. As one of the biggest elephants in Africa, he was a magnificent relic of a bygone era when his kind where more common. ⁠

But to us, and anyone who spent any time with him, there was more to it than that. He was one of the only elephants of his size who calmly tolerated human presence, and placed a dangerously naïve amount of trust in our species.⁠

Over the last five decades, Tim became one of Kenya’s most famous elephants and one of the continent’s last great tuskers, with tusks each weighing in excess of 100 pounds. They were an astounding burden to carry, not least because they made him an incredibly valuable target for any poacher. ⁠ ⁠
He witnessed half a century of changes in the Greater Amboseli ecosystem, and those changes had nearly killed him three times already. Three times, he was speared by farmers defending their crops against his night-time raids. The spears missed organs, but the close shaves were frequent reminders of his vulnerability. Last year, he got stuck in the Kimana swamp, and were it not for a quick coordinated response to pull him out, that would have been the end.⁠

Sadly, this now is. ⁠

We are hopeful that his end was natural, and all indications are that that was the case. There are no obvious wounds on his body, nor any sign of foul play, but we will need to wait for the full post-morgen test results from @kenyawildlifeservice before we will know for sure.