During the recently concluded Tsavo Conservation Area (TCA) Aerial Census, the recent elephant carcass of the Tusker known as Kamboyo was located with ivory intact on 20th February 2017.
The aircraft and crew that found this carcass called in the Tsavo Trust aircraft that was counting the nearby block and Josh (TT pilot) confirmed this was indeed the carcass and ivory of Kamboyo. Kamboyo had been named by Tsavo Trust in March 2013 and was last seen alive on 17th January 2017. He was one of Tsavo’s elephant Ambassadors. His ivory weighed 53.5kg and 52.5kg (118 and 116lbs).
Although Kamboyo will be sorely missed, the bright side of this story is that Kamboyo lived to a ripe old age of at least 55 years and he would certainly have spread his impressive ivory genes over that time frame.
In todays modern elephant world where elephant poaching for ivory, human elephant conflict, drought, livestock invasions and so on takes the head lines, it is very unusual for any elephant to die naturally of old age, and especially one that carries such magnificent ivory. This example clearly shows that something is being done right and the joint efforts of KWS and Tsavo Trust’s Big Tusker Project is indeed showing positive results in both regularly monitoring and helping to secure these rare and iconic elephants through aerial surveillance – eyes in the skies, and mobile ground teams – eyes and ears on the ground.
Kamboyo also features in the video clip to the left, filmed by the BBC on a visit to Tsavo in 2016.
The photo above shows the iconic Tusker taken on 5th July 2016 in TWNP. Below are a selection of photos of Kamboyo from the many sightings Tsavo Trust had of him.