World-famous celebrity elephant, Matt, dies at 52 years
Matt, the celebrated African Savanna elephant and one of North Kenya’s largest tuskers has died at the age of 52 years.
According to Save the Elephants Foundation, the well-known elephant died elephant died of natural causes.
His body was found by the Northern Rangelands Trust 9-1 anti-poaching unit on Monday October 7, and reported to the Kenya Wildlife Service.
In 2002 Matt was fitted with a GPS tracking collar to make it easier for researchers to study his behavior.
The GPS also made it easier for the rangers to know his whereabouts and protect him from preachers.
The 10 feet tall elephant that weighed more than 6 tons during his lifetime roamed further than any other Kenya elephant tracked by Save the Elephants.
We are deeply saddened by the death from natural causes of 52 year old Matt – a beloved bull and one of North Kenya’s largest tuskers. Read Matt’s life story here: https://t.co/ZbN0IfKQgl Photo: Eldemond Williams #bull #Matt #NortherKenya #Tusker #elephant #RIP pic.twitter.com/3fNrup071i
— Save the Elephants (@ste_kenya) October 24, 2019
Matt’s range turned out to span all the way from Meru National Park on the Tana River, through three national reserves including Samburu, and half a dozen community conservancies to the West of the elephants’ range.
Matt would make yearly journeys from his resting area east of the Matthew’s Range to the Samburu National Reserve where he could find females in oestrus.
He appeared in numerous nature documentary series including the BBC’s This Wild Life, Secret Lives of Elephants and Nature’s Epic Journeys.
In 2017, Save the Elephants founder, Iain Douglas-Hamilton recorded a dramatic scene with Matt after he went to investigate a confrontation between the great bull and another elephant called Edison and found himself stuck in the middle.