Ahmed: what is the history of the elephant that appeared on google doodle?


Ahmad the Elephant

ISLAMABAD: Yesterday, Google commemorated Ahmed, a legendary tusked elephant from Kenya, with a special doodle. Ahmed, born in 1919 in Mount Marsabit’s forests, was famously known as “The King of Marsabit” after being discovered by hikers in the 1960s in the mountains of North Kenya.

His massive tusks, weighing 150 pounds each and considered the largest in Africa, garnered nationwide attention. The tusks were so long that Ahmed reportedly had to walk backwards uphill.

Ahmed’s fame surged in the 1970s, bolstering efforts to protect him from poachers. This heightened interest spurred numerous television initiatives, including an ABC series and a documentary. A campaign led by Kenyan schoolchildren reached Jomo Kenyatta, Kenya’s first president, resulting in Ahmed receiving protection under a presidential decree.

To ensure his safety, Ahmed was guarded day and night in Marsabit Park by two appointed guards until his death at age 55 in 1974. Following his demise, President Kenyatta ordered taxidermists to preserve Ahmed for display at the Nairobi National Museum, where he remains an iconic figure.

Reflecting on Ahmed’s legacy, Salim Amin, son of renowned Kenyan photographer Mohamed Amin, recounted his father’s close encounter with Ahmed. The team, after following Ahmed on foot all day, was charged by the elephant.

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In a dramatic moment, while attempting to escape, Amin and his colleague Peter Moll, connected by sound cables, narrowly avoided Ahmed’s tusks in a split-second maneuver around a large tree.

Google meanwhile released the complete process of how the doodle came into being and the details of it can be seen here.

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