Armed poachers operating on the Kenya-Tanzania border have killed five elephants within the Tsavo National Park in a new upsurge of attacks on the jumbos.
The attacks began on Monday when the Tanzanian wildlife officials reported gunshots around Losoita of Tsavo West and progressed into Tuesday when rangers from Kenya and Tanzania discovered freshly killed carcasses.
Two suspected poachers have since been arrested after security teams from the two countries launched a major operation to track down other fleeing poachers.
A statement from the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) said the rangers found five carcasses of freshly-poached elephants comprising a female adult and four sub-adults with tusks missing.
The suspects were arrested in a manyatta in Ndoomani, Loitoktok sub-county.
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KWS Corporate Communications Manager Paul Udoto said the suspected gang is believed to comprise of four Tanzanians who operate across the Tanzania-Kenya border assisted by some locals.
They are believed to have used motorbikes to escape with the tusks.
Fresh, blood-stained axes, axe handles, 'Akala' shoes and a hack-saw were found in one of the houses in the manyatta.
Taita Taveta County Police Commander Richard Bitonga and Tsavo West Senior Warden Josephat Erupe said KWS personnel with the help of sniffer dogs helped to trace the two poachers from their Loitokitoki hideout while eight other runaway suspects are believed to have escaped to Tanzania.