Ahmed was the only elephant in history to have been protected by presidential decree.
President Jomo Kenyatta wanted to protect one of the last great tuskers from poachers and ordered a 24-hour armed guard to be placed around him. Ahmed was still able to roam freely in Marsabit Park and got used to the presence of his guards. This photograph was taken by Mo Amin a few days before the elephant’s death, and Ahmed charged Amin and his colleague, Peter Moll, both barely escaping his huge tusks.
This is the first in a retrospective series celebrating the work of Kenyan photojournalist Mohamed “Mo” Amin. Best known for his work in Ethiopia in the mid-1980s, he and BBC journalist Michael Buerk brought the “biblical famine” to international attention in one of the most powerful and acclaimed television reports of the late 20th century.
Amin died in 1996, when his Ethiopian Airlines flight was hijacked and crashed into the Indian Ocean. Although particularly renowned for his reportage shots, he nevertheless took a great number of travel pictures. We will showcase some of those in future issues of Nomad.
Photo taken from the archives. Courtesy of Salim Amin.