Postcard: The Big Tusker

Elephant: Big Tusker in Amboseli, Kenya

There are few things more magnificent than a Big Tusker. Regal. Majestic. Formidable. These are all words that came to mind when I saw this amazing elephant in Amboseli.

I worry about this big guy. Just being an elephant puts a price on his head, his spectacular tusks makes him even more of a prize. Too much of a temptation.

He was walking across a large plain with a slow steady pace, his head bobbing gracefully from right to left as he stepped. When I took this picture he’d just drank his fill at a small stream and then trudged through a swampy area, that’s why his lower half is so much darker.

He walked toward us, curious. He never wavered. I’m sure we were the millionth traveler to gawk at him. When he was about 20 feet a way, he casually changed his trajectory ever so slightly and walked past.

See his left tusk? It’s shorter than the other. That means he’s a southpaw: he prefers to use his left tusk for tasks and it’s been worn down farther than the other. The right tusk almost dragged to the ground. A few more years and it inevitably would.

I hope he lives long enough for it to drag.


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