Two years, 2 iconic animals dead in Kenya

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Scarface, one of the most notable and iconic lions on a national reserve in Kenya, died June 11 while ruling the jungle.

Scarface, named because of a scar on his right eye, was found by Kenya Wildlife Service game rangers as they patrolled the Maasai Mara National Reserve in southwest Kenya — noted as one of Africa’s greatest wildlife reserves.

Authorities ruled Scarface’s death a peaceful one, undisturbed by humans or wildlife. The lion was born in 2008 and was famously known as being a great leader in the “Four Musketeers” family, along with his brothers Hunter, Sikio and Morani.

The four grabbed territories from other lions while ruling the 400 square kilometers [250 square miles] of jungle in Maasai Mara since 2012, according to Kenya Wildlife officials.

His live came with close calls. Scarface once survived after being hit by a Maasai warrior spear who was defending his cattle. Because of the intervention by the Kenya Wildlife Service and other stakeholders, the lion was back on his feet in no time.

And recognized as a national treasure by Kenya, “Big Tim” was an elephant with iconic big tusks that would scrape the ground as he walked in the vast Amboseli National Park.

Poaching robbed Africa of many elephants with massive tusks. Big Tim lived his entire life mostly undisturbed and died of natural causes on the foot of snow-peaked Mount Kilimanjaro.

Paula Kahumbu, a wildlife conservationist and Chief Executive Officer of Wildlife Direct eulogized Big Tim in a statement.

He was “probably the biggest tusker in Africa,” she said. “Tim brought so much joy to so many people. I know at least one person whose purpose in life was a quest to meet Tim. He had no shortage of humans who worshipped him.”

A fully grown male African elephant weighs up to 7 tons while an adult female can tip the scales at 4 tons.

Tim, who died in 2020, went gone down in Kenya’s history books as a national treasure, living a successful and fruitful life just as his predecessors, including, Ahmed, the great elephant who had massive tusks and was considered a tusker. Ahmed lived in Marsabit National Park between 1919-1974 and was regarded as a national monument.

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