By Kipchumba Kemei
Suspected poachers killed an elephant and removed its tusk in Maasai Mara at the weekend.
The poachers killed the elephant using poisoned arrows, according to acting Narok KWS Senior Warden Bernard Koruta and fled to Loita area along the Kenya-Tanzania border.
“We are pursuing the poachers who are said to have fled to Loita,” said Koruta.
KWS rangers recovered one tusk yesterday.
The number of elephants killed in Mara in the last five years, according to conservationists now stands at 84.
Koruta asked the Provincial Administration and the local community to assist KWS in identifying poachers, saying their input was vital in saving dwindling elephant population.
The manager of Mara Elephant Project, Mark Goss said investigations indicate the elephant was killed in Olare-Orok Conservancy.
“The elephant might have been a victim of human-wildlife conflict. The community living in the area says elephants have been a menace,” said Goss who is also the manager of the Mara North Conservancy.
He added that surveillance by KWS rangers and conservationists has reduced elephant poaching since January this year.
“The Okoa Ndovu initiative by KWS which aims at sensitising communities on the need of protecting elephants has helped reduce deaths. Since January deaths of elephants because of poaching have gone down,” he said.