A story is told about a legendary elephant known as Ahmed. Born in 1919 in forests of Mount Marsabit, Ahmed grew to become the world’s most famous elephant and was referred to as the ‘King of Marsabit’.
Ahmed was a loner and quite elusive and seldom seen – better known by reputation than by sight. Numerous stories are told about his tusks; one was that his tusks were so long that he could only go up a hill by walking backwards. He was often seen resting his head on his tusks.
He was famous around the world and starred in 3 films in the late 1970s. Due to increased poaching, schoolchildren led a letter-writing campaign to Kenya’s first president, Jomo Kenyatta, asking him to protect the elephant.
In 1970, President Kenyatta placed Ahmed under his protection by presidential decree, making him the only Elephant to be declared a living monument. The giant was watched over day and night by two hunters against poachers.
The security plans worked, and Ahmed was able to live his last years in safety. His security escort found the giant dead on January 18, 1974. Also known as “Bwana Tembo”, Ahmed had died in a manner befitting a king.
His body was not lying on his side, but resting majestically on his famous tusks, half leaning against a tree. Today, Ahmed of Marsabit can be admired as a mounted exhibit in front of the Kenya National Museum.