Poachers Kill Rare Elephant Leaving Just 25 Left In The World
Poachers in Kenya have killed a 50-year-old elephant, leaving just 25 of these 'giant tusker' elephants in the wild.
The elephant, named Satao II after another elephant which was also shot and killed, was found dead at its home in Tsavo National Park. Two poachers were arrested before they had a chance to get away with the ivory.
Richard Moller from the Tsaco Trust said: "They are icons, they are ambassadors for elephants.
"This particular elephant was one that was very approachable, one of those easy old boys to find."
"He has been through lots of droughts and probably other attempts at poaching.
"Luckily, through the work we do with the Kenyan Wildlife Service (KWS), we were able to find the carcass before the poachers could recover the ivory."
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According to the trust, there are now only around 25 giant tuskers in the world, with 15 of these in Kenya. The 'giant tuskers' are so called, because of their impressive tusk-length, which can be so long they almost reach the ground.
The animals are mainly killed for their ivory, and an estimated 30,000 elephants are killed each year. Satao IIs tusks collectively weighed 212 pounds and are thought to be worth over £85,000; the ivory is used in 'traditional medicine'.
The news of the animal's death comes just days after an officer from KWS was killed during an anti-poaching incident in the park, reports the Daily Mail.
Poaching is such a major problem that Kaziranga National Park in India has a rule that poachers can be shot in order to protect the wildlife.
Now, while this might seem like a sort of extreme response to the problem, it definitely works. When it was set up a century ago, Kaziranga only had a few Indian one-horned rhinoceroses, now they have 2,400, the BBC reports.
"The instruction is whenever you see the poachers or hunters, we should start our guns and hunt them," a ranger told BBC News. "Fully ordered to shoot them. Whenever you see the poachers or any people during night-time we are ordered to shoot them."
The BBC reported that during 2015 more people were shot by guards at the park than rhinos were killed by poachers. While the number of rhinos being killed being down is a positive, it is questionable whether or not the act of shooting, and in some instances killing, people in order to save them is okay.
Featured Image Credit: Tsavo National Park/Richard Moller