Kenya: Google Celebrates Ahmed the Kenyan Elephant With a Doodle

(file photo).
6 December 2023

Nairobi — Google has celebrated 'Ahmed', the elephant known for his big tusks.

Ahmed was born in 1919 in the forests of Mount Marsabit, Kenya, and rose to prominence in the 1960s when hikers in the North Kenya mountains dubbed him "The King of Marsabit."

Ahmed was not known to many until the 60s and 70 as the 'King of Marsabit'. He lived in the forests of the Marsabit National Reserve on a mountain. He was often known by reputation rather than by sight. He was always in the company of two small bull elephants who would give him protection.

His tusks were the longest and heaviest in Africa, weighing over 150pounds each. Some claimed that his tusks were so long that they scraped the ground.

He shot into the limelight as he was documented in a French documentary and two ABC films.

Ahmed was a national treasure so much so that school going children wrote to the first President of Kenya, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta requesting that he be protected.

In 1970, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta put Ahmed under his protection through the Presidential decree. He was the first elephant to be declared a living monument.

The King of Marsabit was guarded by two armed game rangers making sure security and surveillance was observed at all hours.

On one morning in 1974, he disappeared into the thick bushes of the forests and the guards waited for him but didn't show. The guards decided to go look for him only to find he had already passed away.

At the age of 55, he had succumbed to natural causes. The President further declared that his remains be preserved at the Nairobi National Museum for future generations to be able to admire the Beautiful creature.

A Taxidermist, by the name of Wolfgang took care of Ahmed and now he proudly still stands at the Kenya National Museum of Nairobi.

Salim Amin, the son of the Kenyan photographer Mohamed Amin, said of his father's experience with Ahmed. He said, "I remember my dad telling me how they were charged by Ahmed as they took what turned out to be the last pictures of the King. They had been following him on foot all day and, when his patience with them eventually ran out, he charged the camera team.

"My father and his colleague Peter Moll were running away and decided to run on opposite sides of a huge tree, not realizing they were still attached together by the sound cables and Peter was whipped back around the tree narrowly missing the giant tusks!" Amin added.

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