Poachers killed a historically celebrated elephant near Kenya’s Tsavo East National Park.
Satao, a 45-year old African elephant known as one of the last remaining “great tuskers,” was killed with a poisoned arrow and had its face and tusks removed with the rest of the carcass left behind.
This video from KTN Kenya has more:
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There is more information in a statement from the Tsavo Trust, an organization that helps protect wildlife in Kenya, which reported that Satao was killed on May 30 and his body was discovered June 2, 2014. Tsavo Trust wanted to verify the identification of Satao before officially releasing the news, but regretfully determined it was indeed the iconic elephantthat was “observed with awe by many thousands of Tsavo’s visitors over the years.”
On the ever-so-slim bright side, Tsavo Trust said:
At times like this, it is hard to see any positive side to the situation. But let’s not forget that Satao’s genes survive out there, somewhere in the Tsavo elephant population and they too need protecting. Satao would have been at least 45 years old. During his lifetime he would have weathered many droughts and seen many other poached elephants, and he would have sired offspring that, given a safe environment to grow up in, may become tomorrow’s generation of great Tsavo tuskers.
According to a recent report by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), over 20,000 African elephants were poached across the continent in 2013.
Featured image via TsavoTrust.org