27-10-2019 by Leni Frau
He died peacefully, for causes defined as natural by the experts of the association "Save the Elephant" in the Samburu region, in northern Kenya.
The name they had given him and that he knew he had was Matt, and his age was around 52 years old. Perhaps not the oldest, but certainly the most famous elephant in Kenya.
Until last season it moved for miles from the mountain area of Matthew's Range, on the Lenkikyo Hills, to the reserve of Samburu hunting females to be captured with its charisma of "tusker", one of the great dominant zannuti. Three and a half meters high and weighing 6 tons, very few as majestic and iconic as him.
Matt has appeared in numerous nature documentaries, including BBC's "'This Wild Life" and "Secret Lives of Elephants" and "Nature's Epic Journeys".
The association Save The Elephant, an organization that deals with the protection of pachyderms throughout Africa, also carrying out research and providing scientific information on the habits, behaviors and intelligence of these large animals, has followed much of Matt's existence.
"During his life this magnificent specimen has wandered more than any other Kenyan elephant - says Iain Douglas-Hamilton, founder of the organization - circumventing Mount Kenya from Meru to Laikipia, a continuous ring from east to west of about 245 km. His travels also took him north through Samburu for a distance of 220 km.
The anti-poaching unit of the Rangelands confirmed that the elephant died last Monday.
Matt had been equipped with a GPS collar since 2002 so that researchers could monitor and study his behavior and rangers could protect him from poachers who have killed 10,000 of his peers since Matt followed. But he was able to destroy them and they were reinstalled every time, until the last one in 2016. Despite his size and character as a leader, the Samburu considered him peaceful towards human beings.
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