Kenya suffers it worst elephant poaching incident yet

Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com
January 08, 2013



Infant elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.
Infant elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Kenya. Photo by: Rhett A. Butler.

Over the weekend Kenya suffered its single worst elephant poaching incident when poachers killed an entire family of elephants. In all, eleven elephants were gunned down and had their tusks removed. Among the dead was a two-month-old calf. The elephants were killed in Tsavo East National Park.

In response, the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) has deployed both ground and aerial rangers to flush out the poachers. It is believed that a group of ten poachers are responsible for the attack.

A recent report found that ivory smuggling had hit its highest level in twenty years in 2011. The demand for ivory, especially in China, has led to the rise in smuggling and poaching. Kenyan officials say they lose around a hundred elephants to poachers annually, however, in central Africa over ten thousand elephants are likely being killed every year. Surveys have documented that some areas have lost half their elephants in just five years.

African elephants are currently listed as Vulnerable by the IUCN Red List. However, scientists using genetic evidence have recently argued that there are in fact two species of elephant in Africa: the more common savanna elephant (Loxodonta africana) and the forest elephant (Loxodonta cyclotis), which inhabits the Congo rainforest and is more endangered by the onslaught of poachers.













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CITATION:
Jeremy Hance
mongabay.com (January 08, 2013).

Kenya suffers it worst elephant poaching incident yet.

http://news.mongabay.com/2013/0108-hance-elephant-poaching-kenya.html