Dead Tolstoy, the old elephant of Kenya’s Amboseli

The old man is royal, wounded in the leg by a spear TolstoyA true icon Amboseli Park Inside Kenya, Died six weeks later. Desperate care did not help to heal her from a nasty infection in her injured leg. The 51-year-old elephant has spent time in the Great African Reserve, resting by its side and never getting up again.

The last attempt by the veterinarians to help him was futile Kenya Wildlife Service: As if overwhelmed by the last indomitable fatigue, the royal elephant has died. With it comes another piece of the Great African Mosaic, and with it we count the countless deaths caused by human / animal collisions that continue to blood the red earth of Africa. Fighting to the death between the animals and local communities of Africa’s great stocks, which overwhelm their crops and their livestock, often invades or approaches areas where animals find refuge from prey that slaughters them. Stealing horns and bones.

Ancient conflicts between humans and animals for domination over land

“Due to population growth, human pressure is increasing in areas that should be dedicated to wildlife, such as national parks and reserves,” he explained. Massimo Valerian Vice President and Honorary Warden Dale of the AIEA Italian Association of African Experts Kenya Wildlife Service, Kenya’s wildlife and its habitat were born with the goal of conservation, management and sustainable development. – The locals come to cultivate the land up to the border of the park which is attacked by elephants as there is no fence which destroys the crops. The shepherds, in order to protect their field, shoot the pachyderms Spears and arrows, Often poison. And they just have to go and who knows where or because of the poison or because of the infection caused by the spear in the body. This was the case with Tolstoy, who, despite his treatment, died about a month after being injured. A real genocide that also involves lions, especially in stock Mister died And Amboseli.

The big elephant Tolstoy is the latest victim

Tolstoy in a picture from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants
In the picture: Tolstoy in a picture from the Amboseli Trust for Elephants

Tolstoy’s death was reported by Rangers Big life They work in its sanctuary How much?. “It’s very painful,” he wrote David Ninai The elephant is becoming a mouthpiece for mourners at the death of his colleagues who learned to know and love during their many years together. “He hit with a spear about six weeks ago, almost certainly a farmer protected his crop from his night raids. The wound was healed, but with the end of the infection there was the worst possible outcome. “

The Big Life Rangers at the Kimana Temple monitored Tolstoy throughout the treatment. They witnessed the last hour of the old elephant’s life. “The next morning we saw him lying there. It wasn’t uncommon for an elephant to sleep horizontally despite its huge size, but we could see signs of its failed struggle to get up again as we approached – they say. – They knew it was different this time. Tolstoy was still alive and two veterinary units from the Kenya Wildlife Service came to his rescue. He fell victim More care, But it was impossible to get it back on its feet. For hours, rangers and veterinarians tried to pull him over with vehicles and ropes, but to no avail. A front loader was used as a last-ditch effort, but Tolstoy was too weak to stand. With the arrival of night, Tolstoy finally loses strength and dies, surrounded by the rangers who have been around him for so long.

The Rangers themselves have underlined how Tolstoy’s last is another tragic episode of the African human-animal conflict. “His home has been transformed by the human species, and the result of its rapid expansion. Agricultural land That eventually killed him. His death is a reminder of the weakness of the largest animals, as well as the urgent need to protect them. Wildlife habitat And managing the interface between wildlife and human activity. There are solutions, and we are making progress despite a traumatic push like this.

Valerian: “Conservation is fundamental to the protection and awareness of young and old.”

There Family relationships This is not impossible between humans and animals and, if managed well, can be beneficial for both. Massimo Valerin is convinced and as a safari guide thinks the fences of African parks and reserves are able to prevent the incident. At the same time, of course, the role Save, That is, of the realities that work for the conservation of local fauna in agreement with the local community. “It was born Save, Which acts as a buffer within the National Reserve Parks, is essential to prevent the phenomenon. Even if, sooner or later, we need to think about encircling parks and reserves in Kenya as well as in South Africa. There The fence It will keep one inside and the other outside so that they never come in contact but going on safari will not be like now. I say this as a guide: Now you know that animals are independent. Knowing that there is a park fence, it will give you the impression of staying in a huge safari zoo.

Local population involved: Elizabeth Lewis and Masai women

Another important step is that Awareness Based on the concept of ethical and sustainable tourism, the local population emphasizes the importance of protecting the local fauna as a resource for reviving the local economy which sees safaris and wildlife as a basic resource.

Precisely with this mind Elizabeth LewisIn addition to being an honorary warden of KWS and a professional safari guide, he is a co-founder of the Italian Association of African Experts (AIEA). Nairobi National Park, 60 women live in the vicinity of the park. “Women who have obviously not had the privilege of seeing the park from the inside – Elizabeth says – but thanks to this education they have come to know the wonderful nature of their country with their wildlife from a different perspective: not for conservation and for impending danger to them and their livestock.” .

So if Tolstoy’s death had been avoided The potential of the local community was known That represents the presence of an iconic elephant like him and if they could have realized that his death would have been a loss for all Kenyans instead. “Unfortunately, sometimes the victims of this conflict are people – Elizabeth explains – but, many times, those who have to pay with their lives are the elephants who are killed by farmers with spears and arrows and the lions who apply poison. Breeders.” KWS has been working hard for years to educate the communities living in the area. Nairobi National Park is an area where the balance between humans and animals is very fragile. Bringing is equally important. They will help educate the youth.

@ Cover photo by Josh Clay for the Big Life Foundation

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