News / Africa

    Iconic Kenya Elephant Slain for Ivory Tusks

    Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks late last month.
    Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks late last month.
    VOA News
    Last week, an international group reported that more than 20,000 African elephants were poached last year alone.

    A day after the report was issued, wildlife officials in Kenya’s Tsavo national park announced that Satao, one of Africa’s largest elephants, had been killed.

    The elephant was shot with poison arrows by poachers, who then hacked off its face and stole the tusks.
     
    Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks on May 30, 2014.Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks on May 30, 2014.
    x
    Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks on May 30, 2014.
    Satao, one of the largest elephants in Africa, was killed by poachers for his ivory tusks on May 30, 2014.

    The carcass was found earlier this month. Conservationists who had followed Satao for years identified the body from the ears and other signs, the French news agency AFP reported.

    Satao, about 45 years old, was known as a “tusker” – his tusks so long they swept the ground at his feet.

    "It is with enormous regret that we confirm there is no doubt that Satao is dead, killed by an ivory poacher's poisoned arrow to feed the seemingly insatiable demand for ivory in far off countries, a great life lost so that someone far away can have a trinket on their mantelpiece," Tsavo Trust said in a statement released late Friday.
     
    Elephant populations endangered

    The death of Satao, the latest in a surge of the giant mammals killed by poachers for their ivory, came a day after wildlife regulator CITES warned entire elephant populations are dying out in many African countries due to poaching on a massive scale, the VOA reported.
     
    China is helping to fuel this multibillion-dollar illicit trade with its demand for ivory to use in decorations and in traditional medicines, the AFP reported.

    Those eager to reap the benefits - tusks can rake in thousands of dollars a kilo in Asia - include organized crime syndicates and rebel militias looking for ways to fund insurgencies in Africa.

    According to CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora), 2013 was the third year in a row that more than 20,000 elephants were killed across the African continent.

    It said the sharp upward trend in illegal elephant killing observed since the mid-2000s peaked in 2011 and is leveling off.

    Satao lived in a vast wilderness stretching over a thousand square kilometers (400 square miles), a major challenge for rangers from the government-run Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) to patrol.
     
    "Understaffed and with inadequate resources given the scale of the challenge, KWS ground units have a massive uphill struggle to protect wildlife," the Tsavo Trust statement added.

    Militias behind poaching

    Elsewhere, Garamba National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo is under constant assault by renegade Congolese soldiers, gunmen from South Sudan and others, the AP reported last week.

    The Johannesburg-based African Parks group, which manages Garamba, said since mid April, the 5,000-square kilometer (1,900-square mile) park has faced an onslaught from several bands of poachers who have already killed 68 elephants, about 4 percent of its population.
     
    “The situation is extremely serious,” Garamba park manager Jean-Marc Froment said in a statement. “The park is under attack on all fronts.”
     
    One group of poachers in the park is shooting the elephants from a helicopter and then chopping off their tusks with chain saws, removing the elephants' brains and genitals as well. In some cases, baby elephants that do not yet possess the valuable ivory tusks are killed as well, the AP reported.
     
    African Parks, which runs seven parks in six countries in cooperation with local authorities, said the poachers include renegade elements of the Congolese army, gunmen from South Sudan and members of the Lord's Resistance Army, a militant rebel group whose fugitive leader Joseph Kony is an alleged war criminal, the AP reported.

    Social media was humming over the weekend with accounts and photos of Satao's death.

    On National Public Radio's website, Mark Deeble, a wildlife filmmaker, wrote of his attempts to film the elephant as it took more than an hour, zig-zagging its way through brush, to approach a watering hole.

    "I was mystified at the bull's poor attempt to hide — until it dawned on me that he wasn't trying to hide his body, he was hiding his tusks. At once, I was incredibly impressed, and incredibly sad — impressed that he should have the understanding that his tusks could put him in danger, but so sad at what that meant," Deeble wrote.
     
    Some information for this report provided by AFP and AP.
     

    You May Like

    Russian-speaking Muslim Exiles Fear Possible Russia-Turkey Thaw

    Exiled from Russia as Islamic radicals and extremists, thousands found asylum in Turkey

    US Presidential Election Ends at Conventions for Territorial Citizens

    Citizens of US territories like Guam or Puerto Rico enjoy participation in US political process but are denied right to vote for president

    UN Syria Envoy: 'Devil Is in the Details' of Russian Aleppo Proposal

    UN uncertain about the possible humanitarian impact of Russian proposal to establish escape corridors in Aleppo

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora