Nairobi News


Google Doodle celebrates ‘Ahmed’, the elephant known for his big tusks

The creative and artistic platform used by Google to commemorate significant events and individuals on Wednesday dedicated its doodle to Ahmed, the Elephant.

Ahmed’s story is a remarkable tale of a majestic elephant born in 1919 in the forests of Marsabit National Park, Kenya. The doodle, featuring illustrations of elephants and tourists, serves as a tribute to Ahmed’s legacy and the efforts to protect him from poachers.

Ahmed became known for his impressive tusks, which were the longest and heaviest ever recorded in Africa. Each of his tusks weighed over 150 pounds.

He rose to prominence in the 1960s when hikers in the Northern Kenya mountains spotted him. His massive tusks, reported to scrape the ground, set him apart from other elephants and led to global recognition. Ahmed soon became known as “The King of Marsabit.”

He was so famous that the late President Jomo Kenyatta declared him a national treasure and ordered special protection and remains the only elephant in history to be protected by presidential decree.

He is one of the remarkable sights at the Nairobi National Museum, a life-size model, which is mounted outside the main building. Ahmed’s real skeleton and famous tusks are inside the museum in the Great Hall of Mammals.

Following his death at the age of 55, President Kenyatta called upon taxidermists to make arrangements to preserve Ahmed’s body for future generations at the Nairobi National Museum where his body has been meticulously preserved and saved and can be still found today.

A famous photo of him taken by legendary photographer Mo Amin showed a group of armed guards around him.

“Ahmed was still able to roam freely in Marsabit Park and got used to the presence of his guards,” reports Nomad Africa.

Ahmed died in 1974 and was found resting on his famous tusks, half-leaning against a tree.

He inspired a number of films, one of them being a series titled The American Sportsman, which aired on American Broadcasting Company.

The reach of this doodle spans various regions including Kenya, Iceland, Uruguay, Chile, Pakistan, France, Ireland United Kingdom, Switzerland, Austria, and Germany among other countries.

Google says, this global recognition underscores Ahmed’s impact on wildlife conservation and the collective efforts to protect endangered species.