The sad story of its uprooting reminds us that just a single moment of human folly can ruin the wonders of nature.
The Tuareg, a nomadic tribe of the Ténéré region, in south-central Sahara, were the only ones who knew of the tree’s existence until the late 1930s’,when it caught the attention of “foreigners.”
European troops,who camped in the area,spotted the acacia. They named it “The Ténéré tree” and they included it in their military maps.
In the same year, a water well,drilled near the tree, solved the mystery of the tree’s survival in such an arid environment.
Standing at a height of 10 meters, the tree had roots stretching 30 meters into the groundwater table. Its age was estimated at 300 years old and it was assumed to be the last remaining tree of an ancient cluster that had thrived when the region hadn’t been quite so dry.
The driver, whose name remains unknown, was said to have been driving drunk.
A short time after that, the skeleton of the holy tree was moved to the Niger National Museum and placed in the mausoleum as a sacred relic: an act from the people of the region that clearly states its importance in their life.
A simple metal sculpture was erected in its place.