Mountain Bull, Legendary Kenyan Elephant, Found Dead

The full text of this post by CI Executive Vice President and Senior Scientist Dr. M. Sanjayan can be found on the CBS News website

elephant, South Africa

The ivory trade poses an enormous threat to the world’s elephants, including this one in South Africa. The death of Mountain Bull proves that even elephants with partially removed tusks are not protected from poaching. (© Megan Seman)

Mountain Bull, the magnificent six-ton elephant, featured prominently in our reporting on the poaching crisis in Africa for CBS Evening News and CBS Sunday Morning, has been discovered dead.

Perhaps he had been living on borrowed time, but the manner and place of his death is shocking and deeply disheartening to conservationists and Kenyans.

He was a troublesome elephant at least according to human standards — intelligent, wide ranging, and fence breaking with his massive, perfectly matched tusks. During the dry season he would often retreat to the protected and secluded cool forests of Mount Kenya, but in the wet season, he would strike out for undiscovered country far to the north. Fences were but a minor nuisance for him. He knocked them down with his tusks and neighboring crops became a tasty snack for his journeys.

In October of 2012, CBS News producer Jack Renaud and cameraman Wim de Vos travelled with me to Kenya to film a risky capture and partial de-tusking operation on Mountain Bull. Kenya Wildlife Service vets undertook a dynamic operation to dart him and while he rumbled in an anesthetic slumber they fired up a chain saw and sawed off the ends of his tusks while we, awed by his might, crowded in for a gentle touch.

For the full story, visit CBS News.


  1. Carol says

    Please stop these poachers. My god what is wrong with this world. People of this world need to stop buying Ivory. There must be a way to stop this from happening.

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