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Kenya's largest tusked elephant is dead

Kenya's largest tusked elephant is dead
Tolstoy, 49-year-old elephant that is considered having the longest tusks among others ...   -  
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YASUYOSHI CHIBA/AFP or licensors -

Kenya

A female elephant, believed to be Kenya's largest tusked elephant, has died of old age in the east African country, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said Tuesday (November 1).

Dida, known for her long tusks, was estimated to be between 60 and 65 years old. The life expectancy of elephants in the wild is estimated at around 60 years.

"She died of natural causes due to her old age," the Kenya Wildlife Service announced in a tweet.

The elephant lived in the vast Tsavo National Park in south-eastern Kenya, known for its wildlife.

Dida "led her herd through many seasons and difficult times," according to the KWS.

Female elephants often live in close-knit families and often have young calves by their side, while males tend to be more solitary.

Dida's death comes almost a month after the death of another famous elephant in the Samburu Reserve, an arid expanse in northern Kenya that is facing one of the worst droughts in 40 years.

Monsoon ("Monsoon" in English), a female in her sixties and mother of seven calves, had survived poachers five times. The elephant was euthanized at the end of September, with the NGO Save the Elephant stating that the elephant's poor health was due to her age, but that it had been "aggravated by the drought".

Kenya, the economic engine of East Africa, is suffering from a drought of unprecedented intensity for 40 years, and hunger affects at least 4 million people out of a population of over 50 million.

Four consecutive poor rainy seasons have created the driest conditions since the early 1980s.

Rivers and wells have dried up, and pastures have turned to dust, causing the death of more than 1.5 million livestock in Kenya alone.

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