10 January 2013

Kenya: Two Poachers Killed As Elephant Death Toll Rises

Photo: Kevin Walsh

Two suspected poachers were gunned down in Isiolo on Tuesday. One G3 rifle, 12 bullets and eight pieces of ivory were recovered at Mlango. Also recovered was a weighing scale used to weigh ivory.

The Kenya Wildlife Service said the poachers were linked to a spate of elephant poaching in the area. No KWS officer was injured in the8pm shootout.

Police from Isiolo have visited the scene of crime and are helping with further investigations. According to an aerial census of elephants in the northern area of Kenya conducted by KWS last year, the number of elephants have reduced by more than 1,000.

On January 6, two other poaching suspects were arrested. One Carbine rifle with one bullet was recovered at Murit in Isiolo. Also recovered by KWS rangers was 19kg of ivory.

KWS officials followed up on information volunteered by members of the public that led to the arrest of the gang. Last weekend an entire family of twelve elephants were poached and the tusks carted off at Bisadi area of Tsavo East National Park.

One of the carcasses belonged to a juvenile elephant estimated at two months of age. KWS have not managed to make any arrests following this single bulk massacre of elephants.

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