AHMED AND HIS ASKARIS
Signed Limited Edition Print
Artist – Denis Murphy (1987)
The great bull elephant Ahmed is a symbol of conservation in Kenya. Ahmed was thought to have had the largest known tusks on a living elephant, measuring 11 feet (3m) in length, and weighing 150 pounds (68 kg) each at the time of his death.
In his 1970 decree granting Ahmed presidential protection, President Jomo Kenyatta said:
"There is occasionally some animal which captures the imagination and concern of all mankind" Ahmed was the only wild animal in the world at the time ever to be protected by presidential decree. Even with round the clock protection by armed guards, there were numerous attempts on his life. A bullet hole can be seen on his right ear. With a bounty on his head and many attempts on his life, he was to die of natural causes in 1974 aged about 55.
A fiberglass replica of Ahmed presently stands outside the National Museum of Kenya.
In 1987, South African Artist Denis Murphy was commissioned by early wildlife conservationists in Kenya, Don and Iris Hunt to paint “Ahmed and his askaris”. A signed limited edition print of 950 of this original is now available.
* Askari – Kiswahili for 'guard'