We are sad to share that Mutware, Akagera's most well-known elephant, has died of natural causes at the ripe of age of 48. Mutware lived an extraordinary life in the 48 years he roamed the wild landscapes of Rwanda. He was one of the original 26 young elephants, all were under the age of eight years old, brought to Akagera National Park in Rwanda from Bugesera in 1975. At the time it was considered a ground-breaking conservation effort to eliminate human-wildlife conflict from the area and restore the species to Akagera where elephants had previously existed. 

Mutware was raised alongside humans as a young elephant but was returned to the wild successfully, and continued to live peacefully in the park for more than forty years. In his last years, Mutware would spend most of his time at the very southern tip of Lake Ihema, often in the water, only travelling through the park once a year for a few weeks at a time. Mutware's story illustrated what could be achieved through conservation when political will, community support and partners collaborate with a shared vision for a nation, its people and its wildlife. While it is sad he has passed, we celebrate that he was able to live out a wonderfully wild life and in his past eight years thanks to our partnership with the RDB, he saw a park free of threats, and could live as elephants should. 

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