Nairobi, Kenya | Xinhua | Africa’s largest female elephant, Dida, died aged between 60 and 65 years at a national park southeast of the Kenyan capital Nairobi, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) confirmed on Tuesday.
KWS said Dida, who was possibly Africa’s largest female Tusker and a matriarch residing in Tsavo East National Park, which is located in the Coast Province of Kenya in between Nairobi City and Mombasa, died from natural causes.
“Dida was truly an iconic matriarch of Tsavo and a great repository of many decades worth of knowledge,” KWS said in a statement issued in Nairobi.
According to KWS, Dida shepherded her herd through many seasons and challenging times and served as both the subject of various documentaries and an iconic tourist attraction.
“Those who got to know her (Dida) through pictures and videos, as well as those who had the exquisite pleasure of meeting her in person, will remember her,” the KWS said.
There has been an increase in elephant populations in Kenya, according to the country’s first-ever wildlife census which was released in 2021.
The census carried out by the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife shows the national elephant population has increased from 32,214 elephants in 2014 to 36,169 in 2021
This represents a 12 percent population increase over seven years which is a testament to the productive anti-poaching efforts by the government and conservation partners.