Rare Elephant Killed By Poachers For Tusks, Leaving Only 25 Of Them In The World

One of the last rare elephants in the wild, a 50 year old ‘Giant Tusker’ has been killed by poachers in Kenya. Found dead at in its native Tsavo National Park, the elephant named Satao 2 was beloved by visitors to the Tsavo National Park.

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Richard Moller of the Tsavo Trust says that Satao 2 was named after another ‘Giant Tusker’ killed in 2014. The ‘Giant Tuskers’ get there name because of the length of their tusk, so long in some cases, they touch the ground. Satao 2 was found dead during a routine flyover of the park in January, but his death was not announced until this week. It was believed Satao 2 had been shot with poisoned arrows, although this had yet to be confirmed.

Park Rangers found the body in the Eastern half of the park. The Tsavo Trust describes the area as a “Poaching Hotspot”. Two poachers were arrested before they could get away with the ivory. “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,” said Richard Moller. Giant tusker elephants, are rare and highly endangered.

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The Tsavo Trust stated that there were only around 25 of these Giant Tuskers left in the world, 15 of which are in Kenya. Each year, approximately 30 000 elephants are killed for their ivory, with Satao 2’s tusks weighing in at 96 kilograms, they could be worth upwards of $100 000. Richard Moller from the Tsavo Trust said: “They are icons, they are ambassadors for elephants, and 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”.

“I am pretty gutted really. Many of the others are much more difficult to see” and stay in remote areas, said Moller.
The killing shows no sign of abating with around 30 000 elephants slaughtered every year, mainly to satisfy demand in the Asian market for ivory products coveted as a traditional medicine or as status symbols. According to the wildlife authority, this news came just two days after a KWS officer was killed during an anti-poaching incident in the park, the second officer to die in less than a month at the hands of poachers.