Why is today's Google Doodle about Ahmed the Elephant?

Why is today's Google Doodle about Ahmed the Elephant?

Why is today's Google Doodle about Ahmed the Elephant?

Today's Google Doodle honours Ahmed, the giant tusked elephant, but why?

Ahmed was the first - and only - elephant to be protected under presidential decree in Kenya, after being declared a national treasure.

It was believed Ahmed had some of the longest and heaviest tusks in Africa and he lived in Kenya's Marsabit National Reserve, known as "The King of Marsabit".

Ahmed was born in 1919 in the forests of Mount Marsabit, but only gained his reputation in the 1960s after being spotted by hikers. The hikers claimed his tusks to be so large they scraped the ground and he had to climb hills backwards. This legend quickly took Kenya by storm.


By 1970, Ahmed was the subject of multiple television projects, including an ABC series and a documentary. His popularity inspired school children to campaign for his protection from poachers. After letters were sent to Kenya's first President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, Ahmed was placed under his protection by Presidential Decree.

From then on, two security guards watched over Ahmed day and night to protect him.

Ahmed died of natural causes at age 55, and Kenya celebrated his legacy. President Kenyatta ordered taxidermists to preserve Ahmed for future generations at the Nairobi National Museum, where he can still be seen today.

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