Kenya: Man arrested with an elephant tusk in Tsavo West National Park

May 2, 2021 | News

By Nancy Agutu, The Star

Kenya Wildlife Service has arrested a suspected poacher in possession of an elephant tusk at Elerai area in Tsavo West National Park.

The tusk is suspected to be one of the two extracted from an elephant which was killed at Losoito in Tsavo West National Park, close to a month ago.

Acting on reliable Intelligence, KWS officers backed by multi-agency personnel, and cross border teams – including officials from Tanzania – mounted intense investigation into the matter. These efforts culminated in the arrest of one Kenyan, Papayo Ole Kesoi, who had in his possession a single elephant tusk.

The other tusk could not be traced and is suspected to be in the hands of the poachers who crossed over to Tanzania.

KWS working with stakeholders has put in place mechanisms to eradicate all forms of wildlife crime, particularly poaching. These mechanisms include enhanced community education, interagency collaboration, intensive intelligence led operations among others. These efforts have led to zero rhino poaching in Kenya in the year 2020; the first time in about two decades.

At least 20,000 elephants are killed annually in Africa for their ivory.  This translates into 55 elephants killed daily or one elephant killed every 26 minutes with a population of 35,000 elephants.

On April 30, 2016, Kenya set ablaze 105 tonnes of elephant ivory and 1.35 tonnes of rhino horn to smouldering ash.

President Uhuru Kenyatta led world leaders and conservationists in burning the remains of 6,500 elephants and 450 rhinos killed for their tusks and horns. “For us, ivory is worthless unless it is on our elephants,” Uhuru said.

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