By Renson Mnyamwezi
Four elephants have been killed in the Tsavo Conservation Area as poaching of the endangered species escalate.
The elephants were killed at Lukakani on the Taita-Taveta and Kwale counties’ border and their tusks removed.
Tsavo Conservation Area Assistant Director Wilson Korir confirmed the incident and said two suspects have been arrested.
He said the suspects used poisoned arrows and cable wires to kill the elephants.
Two jumbos were caught by snares and died, added Korir.
“We have arrested an elder and one of his accomplices and recovered weapons. We’ll take them to court next week once we’re through with investigations,” the director said.
“We believe the suspects are involved in the killing of elephants because we also recovered blood stained axe and hacksaw among other weapons in the elder’s house,” added Korir. He said KWS has sent biologists to the scene. “We’ve to take blood samples from the killed elephants and bloodstains from the tools recovered from the poachers to South Africa to compare them scientifically so as to have proof and sustain the case against the suspects,” added Korir.
Speaking to The Standard on phone yesterday, the director said Kenya Wildlife Service was yet to recover the stolen tusks.
The incident brings to 15 the number of elephants killed this year in Tsavo. Korir said the number could be higher given that most cases, which occur in ranches are never reported.
“It is very unfortunate that we’re losing elephants at alarming rate. Efforts are being made to stamp out the poaching,” said Korir.
The incident comes at a time when the government is still grappling with increased cases of commercial and subsistence poaching in ranches and the expansive Tsavo National Park.