Kenya will spend Ksh46.5 million to build a memorial for the fallen elephant in in Amboseli National Park.
According to Najib Balala the Cabinet Secretary for Tourism and Wildlife, Big Tim who died on February 4 2020 aged 50 years in the Mada area of Amboseli National Park, was one of Africa’s last big tusker elephants that roamed in a vast, remote wilderness of southern Kenya.
“We have received a funding request of Sh46.5 million from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) for the establishment of Elephant Tim Monument. The request is under consideration for disbursement by the Tourism Promotion Fund (TPF),” said CS Balala.
Due to injury inflicted on him, Tim worked his way to the headquarters of the Big Life Foundation, a non-profit outfit and AWF partner dedicated to the conservation of elephants in southern Kenya
The body of Tim, the majestic super tusker elephant, has been preserved at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi for education and exhibition purposes.
According to the KWS dispatch announcing Tim’s death, elephant families are matriarchal and males are solitary from the group when they reach sexual maturity.
“But Tim was always welcome to travel in the company of females and their families. A benevolent, slow-moving preserver of the peace at the Amboseli, he was well known and loved throughout Kenya,” the KWS said.
The population of African savannah elephants has plummeted by at least 60 percent over the past 50 years, resulting in their classification as “endangered” in the latest update of the IUCN’s “danger list”.
The Amboseli ecosystem is home to about 1,800 elephants with the highest population found in the Tsavo ecosystem, standing at 14,000, according to Kenya Wildlife Services (KWS).
In recent years, elephant poaching has reduced significantly leading to a surge in elephant populations in Kenya.
According to the Kenya Wildlife Census Report, Kenya is home to a total of 36,280 elephants, representing a 21 percent growth from 2014, when poaching was at its peak. This increase has been realised thanks to the sustained government crackdown on poaching and illegal ivory trade.
However, the report also notes that human-elephant conflict has increased in many regions within the country as a result of the increasing loss of habitat and competition in land use.