In partnership with Tsavo Trust, IEF presents: Sponsor An Elephant.

When we think of the majestic male elephants of Africa we think of the big boys with giant tusks that almost touch the ground and weighing over 100 pounds each. These males are known as Big Tuskers and they have all but disappeared except for a few locations in Africa such as Tsavo National Park, Kenya. To protect these charismatic elephants, IEF supports  Tsavo Trust’s Big Tusker Project in Tsavo, Kenya which provides aerial surveillance and protection for the Big Tuskers as well as the few females with similar large tusks we call the Iconic Cows. These females are the mothers, sisters, and daughters of the Big Tuskers and are essential to the species survival. Working with local wildlife authorities, this project serves as the eye-in-the-sky to catch poachers, recover the tusks of those dead of natural causes, monitor individuals and herd movements, and deter wildlife crime. With IEF’s Sponsor-An-Elephant program you can choose one of the elephants under our protection to sponsor.

The Sponsor-An-Elephant program has been championing the Iconic Female Tuskers and we are proud to add the boys, both Big Tuskers and Emerging Tuskers (those younger males whose tusks aren’t quite large enough to be Big Tuskers, yet), into the program! Together they represent a vision of what African elephants were before widespread poaching and what could be possible again if we are victorious against poaching.

Big Tuskers

The classic African elephant of picture books, these male elephants have giant tusks of over 100 pounds per side.

Irima 2

Estimated Age: 35 to 40 years old
Status: Alive

Special features:

  • Symmetrical ivory
  • Chip off his left Tusk
  • Cuts down his left ear – leading edge
  • Small hole in right ear

Home range: Positively sighted in the Irima area.

Temperament: Not approached on the ground to date. All sightings have been made from air.

Security Threats: We have little information to where IR2 wanders. However, the area he has been located is close to the Mombasa Nairobi road.

Irima 2

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Donation Total: $10

Kisimeka

Estimated Age: 45 to 45 years old
Status: Alive

Special features:

  • Thick and heavy ivory
  • Right tusk longer than the left with the later curving inwards.
  • Distinctive tear in lower right ear.
  • Small hole in central right ear and another in lower left ear.

Home range:

Frequents areas in the Northern boundary of Tsavo West National Park and is a real creature of habit.

Temperament:

  • Relatively calm when approached.

Security threats:

Ranges in areas that border community land where farming is practiced. Potential trophy poaching threat and retaliatory killing due to Human Elephant Conflict.

Other notes:

  • Sighted several times before being named and added to the Big Tusker Database.

Kisimeka

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Donation Total: $10

Voi

Estimated Age: 35 plus years
Status: Alive

Special features:

  • Long but thin symmetrical ivory that thins out towards the end
  • Left tusk slightly longer than the right.
  • Distinctive scar on left flank close to the hind leg.

Home range:

Core range area include Satao, Mukwaju and Voi river dam. Moves to areas outside park boundary at times.

Temperament:

  • Calm when approached in a vehicle.
  • Aggressive when in musth.

Security threats:

  • Moves to areas outside park boundary at times into unsafe areas where elephants have been poached using poison arrows in the past.

Other notes:

    • Sighted several times before being named and added to the Big Tusker Database.

Voi

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

Emerging Tuskers

Emerging tuskers are next in line to inherit the “Big Tusker” mantle. They have large ivory and are just on the cusp of being considered Big Tuskers.

Bachuma

Estimated age: 40 plus years

Special features:

      • Very thick Ivory
      • Scar on left abdomen
      • Shorter right Tusk
      • No cuts on his Ears
      • Triangle like Tusks

Home Range: sighted mostly in the Emusaya area, TENP.

Temperament: He has been approached on the ground a few times, but his temper is determined by the area he is located. Most sightings of BU1 have been made from the air because his normal home range is largely roadless and very expansive. He is not easy to find.

Security Threats: Wanders large areas, some of which are known as hot spot poaching zones.

Bachuma

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Donation Total: $10

Shirango

Estimated age: 40 plus years

Special features:

      • Very long and thick ivory.

      • His ivory grows outwards from the lip and curve inwards towards the end.

      • Left tusk longer than right tusk.

      • Smooth ears

      • Tall thin body.

Home Range: Ranges widely. Frequents Balguda, Satao, Shirango, K.M.C ranch and Emusaya areas.

Temperament:

      • Approachable on ground from a vehicle.

      • Wary of the vehicle when approached near or outside park boundaries.

Security Threats:

      • Wanders large areas, some of which are known poaching hot spots.

      • His large ivory makes him a preferred target by trophy poachers.

Shirango

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Donation Total: $10

Iconic Female Tuskers

These females provide one half of the valuable Big Tusker genes for future generations of majestic elephants.

Aruba

Estimated Age: 35 to 40 years old
Status: Alive
Herd: Matriarch of the cow-calf group.
Special Features: Relatively long symmetrical ivory splayed outwards towards the end.  Matriarch to a herd of 9 elephants.  Small in body size.  Possibly the mother of twins.
Temperament: Approached on ground once to date.  Calm within 30m of the vehicle.
Name Origin: Named after the area she was first located.  Aruba is the name of a location in Tsavo East meaning ‘Elephant’ in Waatha language.

Aruba

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

Dida

Estimated Age: 45 to 50 years old
Status: Alive
Herd: Matriarch of a herd formerly of 15 elephants, now 7 members. Has a sub-adult calf.
Special Features: Has clean ears with no notches or tears. Has a full patch of tail hair on the inner side of the tip of her tail and only a few hairs left on the outer side.
Temperament: Very protective of her cow-calf group. Dislikes being approached.
Name Origin: Named after the Dida Harea region of Tsavo East where she was first seen.

Dida

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

Mona

Status: Alive.  Recently designated as Tusker Status – Info to come.

Mona

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

Mudanda

Estimated Age: 50 to 60 years old
Status: Believed to be deceased
Herd: Matriarch to a herd of 9 elephants
Special Features: Very long ivory with the right tusk curving inwards and above the left tusk, a U-shaped notch on the left upper ear and a small hole on the lower right ear and lacks hair on her tail.
Temperament: Very calm and very approachable both in vehicle and on foot; a very gentle lady of Tsavo.

Mudanda

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

EMUSAYA

Estimated age: 40 – 45 years

Special features:

      • Long complete left tusk.
      • Right tusk broken off and remains just a stump at the lip.
      • Matriarch to herd of 14 elephant
      • Only a few hairs remain on her tail suggesting she is old.
      • Small hole midway of left ear near margin.
      • Two notches on the right ear.

Home range: Sighted mostly around Emusaya. But we are still learning her range area.
Temperament:

      • Not approached on ground to date. All sightings made from the air.

Security threats:

      • Wanders in large areas some of which are historic poaching hot spots.

Emusaya

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Donation Total: $20 One Time

X-Tusk

Estimated Age: 45 to 50 years old
Status: Alive
Herd: Currently has a 2-year-old calf, and matriarch to herd of 7 elephants.
Special Features: Left tusk crosses underneath the right tusk forming a distinctive X shape. Right ear has two notches.
Temperament: Very protective and likely to charge when approached closer than 25 meters.
Name Origin: Received her name due to the shape of her tusks, which cross at the lower ends.

X-Tusk

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Donation Total: $20 One Time