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©Vivien Prince

This elephant is the oldest sister of another renowned big tusker, who is probably the most photographed big tusker in East Africa. Born in 1967, she grew up alongside two males - who are now also big tuskers - until the boys left the family when they were around 14 years old. The genes in that family are simply astounding!

   This elephant became a matriarch of her herd in 2003, and at the beginning of 2012 she became the mother of a young calf, which can be seen suckling in this picture.

   She is very special because she is one of less than 10 female big tuskers that have been seen in Africa in recent years. While only male Asiatic elephants can grow very long tusks, both male and female African elephants can grow such impressive ivory. However, the tusks of the males are generally much longer, thicker and several times heavier than those of the females, which rarely exceed 25kg each.