King of the Elephants: The Tusker

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During the survey flying in Tsavo East National Park located in Kenya, the researchers spotted one of the famous large tusk elephants roaming the savannah. There are only a dozen of these large-tusk elephants – or “tuskers” as they are called – in the park. This tusker (seen above right with another large elephant) is named Satao and his beautiful tusks nearly touch the ground as he slowly meandered across the dry clay landscape of Tsavo. The tusker is a classification given to those male elephants whose tusks weigh more than 100 pounds (45.45 kg) each, which is also why they are sometimes called “hundred pounders.”  Due to the large amount of ivory that each tusker provides, they are sought after by poachers and are at risk of extinction across Africa. Due to poaching in many African countries, the tuskers gene pool is rapidly depleting, leaving what is thought to be less than 100 tuskers remaining among the African elephant population.