World Elephant Day!
So naturally, we want to tell you the life story of an elephant who goes by the name Big Tim. Big Tim was an African elephant who lived in Amboseli National Park in Kenya, before recently passing. Big Tim was one of Amboseli’s best-known elephants, he was even one of the most well known and widely loved animals in Kenya.
To many people, Big Tim was a representation of what can be done when humanity enforces rules and regulations that are put in place to protect our vulnerable, threatened or endangered animals. The average life expectancy of most elephants (depending on what species they are) ranges from around 40 to 70 years of age. But due to the multiple obstacles Elephants have to overcome during their lifetimes, a large number of elephants do not get to live that long. In fact, many elephants die an unnatural death by the time they are only the tender age of 20.
However, last year was a big one for Amboseli National Park when their beautiful elephant Big Tim turned 50! Yes 50!
This is an amazing achievement for an elephant to accomplish; making it to 50 years of age. The fact that Big Tim made it to 50, lets us reassuringly know that change is possible. In regards to how we interact with the nature surrounding us, be it a rainforest, ocean, tundra or desert, our daily actions do add up to make powerful moves into positive directions.
Elephants are peaceful creatures that simply want to roam their habitats and mind their own business. Just like any other animal, they do not go looking for trouble. They do not go looking to get their tusks ripped off their faces, they do not go looking for farms where they will get speared by farmers, they do not go looking for people who have guns and want to poach them. Elephants, as well as, all wild animals, face just about every possible threat to an animal that there could be on a day to day basis. With this tragic truth in mind, it is truly astounding that Tim had gotten to this age last year.
In his earlier years, Big Tim lost his relatives to poaching incidents. When he was only eight, his mother was speared to death by poachers. And then in 2003, Big Tim also lost his sister Tallulah to poaching. As time went on, Tim would continue to lose his family members throughout his life for reasons as previously mentioned above.
Tim was a representation of all the varying perspectives humans hold towards elephants, both positive and negative.
To a child or even an adult, Tim is the most awesome animal on the planet, him being an elephant makes him their favourite animal. To another individual, he is a costly nuisance that keeps ruining their farm work, and messing up their hard work. To a tourist? You could say he is a marvelous attraction, a wild animal; a phenomenon. One thing's for sure and that is to conservationists, he is a symbol of persistence; he is a symbol of hope; he is a symbol of progress. To people and organisations that advocate or act for the protection and preservation of the environment and wildlife, Tim proves that our efforts and continued activism is working!
Along his way to 50, Big Tim also had a rollercoaster ride of ups and downs. In the past 6 years he had multiple multiple spears thrown at him by angry farmers who thought he was going on night- time raids into their farms when in reality he was just walking while being a big elephant. And it was only last year in November when Big Life worked with Kenya Wildlife Service and Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in a monumental life-saving effort to rescue Tim from a large mud-pit in deep farmlands.
Big Tim called Amboseli National Park his home and place of safety from when he was as was a little two year old all the way up to when he turned 50 before he passed. In honour of Tim’s 50 years and celebration of his life. We created a life-size elephant of him to let his legacy go on. Watch our Workshop Wednesday video to find out more about our flip flop Big Tim Elephant here - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eA1fo54AEkE&feature=youtu.be