• Short Summary

    The body of one of Africa's most wall-known elephants -- Ahmed -- is being stuffed by taxidermists in Kenya.

  • Description

    The body of one of Africa's most wall-known elephants -- Ahmed -- is being stuffed by taxidermists in Kenya.

    Ahmed died in Kenya's Marsabit National Park on the 17th of January this year. He was estimated to have been 70 years old, and was the only animal protented by presidential decree.

    President Kenyatta forbade anyone to harm Ahmed -- even if he wandered into places where elephant hunting was legal. He was chosen as the symbol for Kenya's 1974 Conservation Year. President Kenyatta has ordered that Ahmed be preserved, and displayed in Nairobi Museum.

    Ahmed's most attractive features were his enormous tusks. Each one weighs 136 pounds (62 kilos) and stands almost 10 feet (about 3 metres) high.

    Stuffing Ahmed will be long job -- it's estimated to take about six months, and post about 6000 pounds sterling. The tusks have even been insured for 24,000 pounds.

    SYNOPSIS: Ahmed the elephant -- Africa's most well-known animal -- is dead. An infection in one of the elephant's legs finished him off, and he died on the seventeenth of January.

    President Kenyatta of Kenya has ordered that Ahmed's body be preserved, and a firm of taxidermists near Nairobi have just started the mammoth task. It will be a long job, taking about six months, and costing about six thousand pounds.

    The elephant that became a legend lies in pieces around the taxidermists workshop. Ahmed was estimated to have been seventy years old when he died. He could have lived longer, but for the small infection that ended his protected life in the wild.

    Ahmed was the only animal protected by presidential decree. President Kenyatta forbade anyone to harm him -- even if he wandered into places where elephant hunting was legal. During his lifetime, armed guards ensured that his tough skin would never be fatally pierced by a bullet.

    Kenya's Marsabit National Park was Ahmed's home, and his wanderings were watched closely by the park authorities. The elephant was a great temptation to poachers.. his tusks were so heavy that Ahmed frequently rested them on the ground -- to take the weight off his neck muscles.

    Accorded the security normally reserved for leading dignitaries, Ahmed, and his enormous tusks, survived the ivory collectors. There were some attempts on his life during his isolation at Marsabit, and the scare still show.

    The tusks wee once valued at almost three thousand pounds each, but they would have fetched almost double that amount on the ivory market. They've been insured for twenty four thousand pounds, and are being carefully checked.

    Speculation was rife during Ahmed's lifetime as to the weight of those tusks .. could Ahmed have claimed a world record for them? The official weigh-in was disappointing -- the tusks' combined weight was only three hundred and seventy pounds. The heaviest elephant tusks -- four hundred and twenty pounds -- are in a London Museum.

    The tusks were found to be almost ten feet long ... not a record, but still something to put lesser elephants to shame.

  • Tags

  • Data

    Film ID:
    VLVA6J4FBHXG664EH5H7LUU3LUF1E
    Media URN:
    VLVA6J4FBHXG664EH5H7LUU3LUF1E
    Group:
    Reuters - Source to be Verified
    Archive:
    Reuters
    Issue Date:
    12/02/1974
    Sound:
    Unknown
    HD Format:
    Available on request
    Stock:
    Colour
    Duration:
    00:02:42:00
    Time in/Out:
    /
    Canister:
    N/A

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