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What Killed Niger's Tree of Ténéré?

The "Tree of Ténéré" (Arbre du Ténéré) was the only tree within a 250-mile (402 km) radius in the Tenéré desert (part of the Sahara desert) of Niger for about 300 years. The tree, an acacia, served as a landmark for desert travelers and had roots that ran as far as 131 feet (40 meters) into the ground.

Westerners, especially European military personnel, also took notice of the tree and it was described by the French commander Michel Lesourd in 1939. The wondrous Tree of Ténéré was killed by a truck driver who ran over it in 1973. It was alleged by some that the driver was drunk at the time. The remains of the tree were relocated to Niger National Museum where they are on display.

More about Niger:

  • Niger is a landlocked country located in West Africa.

  • Niger was a French colony between 1922 and 1960.

  • 80% of Niger is desert.

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