Poachers kill one of Africa’s oldest elephants using ‘poisoned arrow’

·Freelance Writer

One of Africa’s oldest elephants has been found dead after poachers reportedly killed it using a poisoned arrow.

Satao II, who was named after an elephant that was killed in 2014, was believed to have been roughly 50 years old and was a much-loved resident of the Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

Richard Moller, from the Tsavo Trust, said: “I am pretty gutted really. This particular elephant was one that was very approachable, one of those easy old boys to find.

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“Many are the others are much more difficult to see and stay in remote areas.

“He has been through lots of droughts and probably other attempts at poaching.”

The two poachers thought to have been responsible for the elephant’s death have since been arrested.

At around 50 years old, Satao II was one of Africa's oldest elephants (Tsavo Trust)
At around 50 years old, Satao II was one of Africa’s oldest elephants (Tsavo Trust)

Moller added: “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.”

Sadly, Satao’s death is just one of 30,000 African elephants slaughtered for their ivory every year.

According to Moller, there are only around 25 of the giant tuskers left in the world – 15 of which reside in Kenya.

He said: “They are icons, they are ambassadors for elephants.”

The Tsavo ecosystem covers some 16,000 square miles – something that proves to be a major challenge for rangers from the KWS to patrol.

Top pic: Tsavo Trust

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