Dida, Africa’s Largest Female Big Tusker Has Sadly Passed Away Of Old Age In Kenya

Photo Credit: Nick Haller

Heartbreaking news from Kenya as WAN learns that Dida, who was believed to be the oldest female big tusker in Africa, died yesterday at her home in Tsavo East National Park. The local icon and beloved matriarch was estimated to be between 60 to 65 years old. Tsavo Trust and Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) both shared the sad news that Dida passed away naturally of old age.

“She lived longer than many of us thought she would,” Tsavo Trust shared in a post on its Facebook page, noting that the organization remains positive about the Big Tusker Project that it is currently working on with KWS. The project provides extra protection to the last giants of the elephant world. “To us, allowing an elephant to live its full life is something we are very proud of.”

“Over the course of her long life, Dida shepherded her herd through many difficult times. She was the inspiration for documentarians and the pull for tourists. She will be remembered by those of us who got to know her through photos and videos, as well as by those of us who had the absolute pleasure to see her in the flesh,” concluded the message. “She will be even better remembered by the many generations of Tsavo’s elephants who will benefit, for years to come, from the lessons they learned as they watched their matriarch pass her careful judgment. An elephant never forgets.”

Kenya Wildlife Service echoed this sentiment on its Facebook page, stating that, A matriarch has rested.”

As explained by Tsavo Trust, the term “Big Tusker” refers to an elephant with tusks so large that they scrape the floor. Sadly, as of today, there are only approximately 25 individuals remaining in the world.

“There are a number of reasons why Big Tuskers are so rare. First, elephants with tusks that large are a natural rarity which only adds to the mysticism surrounding their majesty,” stated the organization. “Secondly, these massive elephants are under constant threat from poachers. In parts of the Far East, 1kg of ivory sells for several thousand dollars and a Big Tusker can have tusks that weigh over 50kg each.”

It is imperative that elephants and all threatened and endangered species be given more protection worldwide before they are lost forever. As for sweet Dida, may she Rest In Heaven!

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass. #GoVeg

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